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007.05.10-25. Pet Therapy Program

AR ADC 007.05.10-25Arkansas Administrative CodeEffective: February 5, 2021

West's Arkansas Administrative Code
Title 007. Department of Health
Division 05. Health Facility Services
Rule 10. Rules for Critical Access Hospitals in Arkansas (Refs & Annos)
Effective: February 5, 2021
Ark. Admin. Code 007.05.10-25
007.05.10-25. Pet Therapy Program
“Program” means Pet Therapy Program.
“Pet” means an animal that has been specifically screened, trained, and authorized by the hospital to participate in the Program.
“Handler” means an individual who has been specifically credentialed and authorized by the hospital to participate in, and to accompany and control pets participating in, the Program.
A. The Program shall be approved by the Governing Body, Medical Staff, and the Infection Prevention and Control Committee.
B. The Infection Prevention and Control Committee shall, in conjunction with a licensed Veterinarian, establish the Medical Criteria that each pet shall meet in order to participate in the Program.
C. The hospital shall establish the Behavioral Criteria that each pet shall meet before participating in the Program.
D. A licensed Veterinarian shall certify that a participating pet:
1. Meets the hospital's medical criteria; and
2. Is free of zoonotic communicable disease causing organisms.
E. A licensed Veterinarian, a local protection society or a pet therapy association or society shall certify that a participating pet meets the Hospital's Behavioral Criteria.
F. Pets found to have a communicable disease shall be excluded from the Pet Therapy Program until the pet is treated and has one negative culture, if culturing of the causative agent is feasible. Pets expressing behavioral problems will be excluded from the program until the behavioral problem is remedied.
G. Pets shall be bathed and groomed before each hospital visit. Pets shall be free of fleas while visiting the hospital.
H. The hospital shall establish an orientation program for the Handlers. Handlers shall attend this program before participating in the Program. The orientation program shall include, at least, patient confidentiality, appropriate infection prevention and control measures, safety, and appropriate emergency protocols. Records of the orientation program shall be kept.
I. The hospital shall keep records of each visit the Pet makes. The records shall include, at least, the date, the identity of the Pet, the identity of the Handler, all the patients visited; the area in which the patient visits were made, and any infectious condition the patient had or any type isolation the patient was in at the time of the visit.
J. The pet and handler shall be escorted at all times by a staff member appropriate to the area visited. Patient safety and confidentiality shall be maintained at all times.
K. The Pet shall be under the direct supervision of the handler at all times and shall be on a leash or in a crate at all times while in the hospital. Other patients, visitors, and employees shall be discouraged from petting the pet.
L. The Hospital shall provide an area to walk the pet. There shall be procedures for immediate cleanup of all accidents.
M. There shall be procedures for patient hand washing, visit area clean up and cleaning of the patient's room. If a pet visits a patient in bed, the bed linens will be changed immediately after the visit. A barrier shall be placed over the bed if the pet is placed directly on the patient's bed.
N. The attending physician in conjunction with the Infection Control Officer, will determine the appropriateness of the pet visits. The attending physician shall approve and order each Pet visit. The orders shall be documented in the medical record.


Amended Jan. 1, 2016; Feb. 5, 2021.
<Statutory authority: Promulgated under the Authority of Ark. Code Ann. § 20-7-123, 20-9-201 et seq.>
Current with amendments received through May 15, 2024. Some sections may be more current, see credit for details.
Ark. Admin. Code 007.05.10-25, AR ADC 007.05.10-25
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