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ACS PAWS program returns

Second annual grant cycle increases funding.​

ACS is thrilled to announce the launch of the second cycle of our competitive grant opportunity, aimed at expanding access to animal-assisted therapy in pediatric oncology settings. Ten grants will be awarded to children's hospitals. Applications should be submitted by Friday, May 31!

In 2023, ACS PAWS (Pups Assisting with Support) awarded 10 children’s hospitals $8,000 each to support their facility dog programs and the therapeutic benefits of animal-assisted therapy.

That first grant cycle was so successful that we’re expanding funding from 10 grants at $8,000 to 10 grants at $10,000. Grants will be awarded to children’s hospitals for a project period spanning from September 2024 to August 2025. 

Widely considered a safe and desirable intervention for children with cancer, animal-assisted therapy for hospitalized children has been shown to decrease symptoms like anxiety, stress, depression, and pain, and increase quality of life indicators like feelings of joy and calmness, positive memories from hospitalization, and improved sense of well-being.

Hospital facility dogs receive extensive, specialized training to provide goal-oriented, therapeutic interventions and emotional support. They work full-time alongside an expert handler like a certified child life specialist in hospitals. The ACS PAWS grant program fills a critical gap for institutions as animal-assisted therapy programs are primarily supported by philanthropy efforts. Collectively, the projects are estimated to have impacted more than 10,000 children and families affected by cancer.

The link to apply is included in the request for applications guideline, so be sure to apply by May 31! Awardees will be notified on July 31. 


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