Aurora Medical Center in Oshkosh

  • 855 N Westhaven Dr
    Oshkosh, WI 54904

    Phone: 920-456-6000 • Fax: 920-456-7601
    Map and Driving Directions
  • Hours of Operation:
    24 hours/day, 7 days a week.
    Individual departments vary.

Many studies have shown the positive impact of animals on people. Pet interaction can help lower blood pressure, increase optimism and improve morale.

Animals have a calming and soothing effect on children and adults. This program goes along with Aurora's philosophy of treating the whole person, both physically and mentally.

Pet visitation is the patient's own pet visiting. Pet therapy is when certified pet therapy dogs with their respective owners visit patients.

Pet Visitation Policy

Patients' personal pets such as dogs or cats, may be allowed to visit as long as the pet is accompanied by a responsible adult with proof of rabies or/and the necessary vaccination shots, the pet is not disturbing to others and is free of infectious disease. Other domestic pets may require other types of health certification and will be reviewed case by case the type of animal allowed to visit. In these cases, the owner must obtain prior approval from the pet therapy work team. Only animals that are certified therapy will have unlimited patient access. No pets will be allowed in an isolation room.

Aurora Medical Centerrequests that volunteer handlers and their pets be certified through and affiliated with a reputable pet therapy organization. This ensures the animals and handlers visiting patients are properly qualified. Volunteer handlers must be at least 16 years of age.

Prior notice of the pet's arrival is requested. The visit should be coordinated with the concierge desk at 920-456-7000. This will ensure our volunteer handlers do not encounter a surprise visit with a patient's pet, and will also help us monitor the success of the program.

Pets need to be accompanied by the pet-certified handler and be caged, carried, or on a leash no longer than 6 feet.

The unit manager/supervisor on duty has the discretion to request the animal to leave if it is not in control or poses a threat to staff, patients and/or visitors.

The certified therapy animal and handler will have unlimited patient access except in a room with a patient in isolation.


  1. Patient and/or family shall inform the house supervisor prior to visit.
  2. The responsible adult must check in at the concierge desk and show proof of clean and well-groomed pet.
  3. A responsible person shall bring the pet for the visit and shall be in attendance the entire time of the visit. There can be only one pet per designated family member and designated patient’s room.
  4. Environmental Services staff shall clean carpeting soiled with pet excrement immediately.

Key Points

  1. Hospital staff needs to assure the most opportunistic time for the pet visit and to make certain that the pet is free of any infections.
  2. Hospital staff will collect and assure rabies information along with completed appropriate paperwork prior to visit.
  3. Depending on the type of animal, it shall be on a leash no more than 6 feet long or confined to a pet carrier.
  4. A handout will be prepared to inform staff if a pet has an accident to ensure proper cleaning.

The visit shall be terminated if the pet creates any type of disturbance or becomes a safety factor (barking, running in halls or into other patients’ rooms).