Bark Worthy

St. Louis Children’s Hospital Opens Purina Family Pet Center #PurinaPartner

Written by Rachel Phelps


My mom has had her share of health problems and surgeries since I have been born, and one job I take very seriously is being with her when she recovers.  I snuggle up beside her as she sleeps or watches movies and I try not to leave her side unless I have to.  If she starts hurting I tell Dad that he needs to come check on her.  I was always sad I wasn’t allowed to come with Dad to the hospital to be there when she came out of surgery because I knew having me around would make her feel better.

Well, the St. Louis Children Hospital, one of the best in the nation, noticed that many of their little human puppies (kids) would get really sad that they couldn’t see their pets when they were there.  So an idea was born – a place where the kid’s pets could safely come visit making them happy again.  Studies show that spending time with us pets can help humans reduce pain, anxiety, depression, and fatigue.  This is a win for us pets because we get to see our loved family member, and a win for the kids because we make them feel better.

The St. Louis Children’s Hospital foundation approached Purina (they are actually headquartered in St. Louis) and asked if they could help them make this a special pet place.  Purina eagerly jumped on board and donated their expertise (their behaviorists) to design an area that would make the pets feel comfortable including the materials the room is made out of, the colors used, and even the types of photos up on the walls.  In addition, they also donated $450,000 to make it happen.

The new 300 square foot Purina Family Pet Center is right beside an entrance so pets can get in and out quickly.  All the surfaces are pet-friendly in case we forget to ask to go out and the place is large enough a hospital bed can be wheeled-in if the human puppy (kid) is too sick to get out of bed.  There are toys for the pets to play with, and rumor has it, the room is always stocked with treats!

purina-family-pet-center-1-4-HRAccording to the President of Purina, Nina Leigh Krueger, the partnership made sense because “At Purina we believe that pets and people are better together, and our friends at St. Louis Children’s Hospital clearly shares our belief.  Our goal for the Purina Family Pet Center is to bring joy to children and their families by helping them reunite with their pets during their stay.”

Isn’t this the neatest idea?!  This is the first pet center of this type in this region of the country, and only the fourth in the entire world.

Disclosure:  This post was sponsored by Purina but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the author

Rachel Phelps

Rachel Phelps, “America’s Pet Parent,” is an award-winning writer, photographer, and certified dog trainer. She keeps busy managing the career of her Internet celebrity dog Preston from Preston Speaks. Her three Westies — who think they are mini-humans — and three cats rule the house. To learn more about Rachel go to: Rachel Phelps Website

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