Furry Companions

The Need

Studies show that dogs can reduce stress and help make people feel better, emotionally and physically. For many patients, playing with a dog helps make the hospital feel more like home. The dogs might encourage a child to go for a walk, socialize with others, or participate in therapies. For some children, there’s not better medicine or treatment that compares to snuggling in bed with a warm fluffy friend.

The Impact a Facility Dog Has

  • Help to lower elevated heart & respiration rates
  • Provides distraction and normalization for sick children
  • Help children feel better emotionally and physically

About The Cause

Children’s Mercy’s two facility dogs, Hunter and Hope, provide comfort, motivation and smiles to many of our patients and families.

The Children’s Mercy Facility Dog Program is made possible by generous support from caring individuals, businesses and organizations. Fore The Kid’s golf tournament raised over $100,000 to establish an endowed fund which will provide the ongoing medical care for Hope and Hunter.

Hunter & Hope

Hunter and Hope were born and raised at a non-profit organization called Canine Assistants, Inc. in Milton, GA where they were trained to become service dogs. Each is paired with a patient activity coordinator in the Child Life Department who is their primary handler. Both dogs come to work with their handlers each morning, Monday-Friday, and go home with them at the end of the work day. When Hunter and Hope are not at work, they relax and play with other members of their handlers’ families. When they are at work, they are the incentive for children who make it through tough days and want a snuggle partner or play time.

Dollars Raised by Fore The Kids


To learn more about how Fore The Kid’s contributions have helped, check out the links below!

Fore The Kids Causes

The Fore the Kids foundation is a proud supporter of Children’s Mercy, raising money to provide various services and treatment advances to help bring smiles to children’s faces at a time when they are hard to find…but so incredibly important.