This SHEA expert guidance provides general guidance to the medical community regarding the management of animals in healthcare based on analysis of the medical literature regarding risks and evidence for animal-to-human transmission of pathogens in the healthcare setting, along with the potential benefits of animal-assisted activities in healthcare, review of hospital policies related to animals in healthcare, and a SHEA Research Network survey assessing institutional policies. It offers specific guidance for acute care hospitals and ambulatory care facilities to develop or modify policies related to animals based on their role (i.e., animal-assisted activities, service animals, research animals, and personal pet visitation). It is not intended to guide the management of animals in other healthcare facilities such as assisted living, nursing homes, or extended-care facilities.
Authors: Murthy R, Bearman G, Brown S, Bryant K, Chinn R, Hewlett A, George BG, Goldstein EJC, Holzmann-Pazgal G, Rupp ME, Wiemken T, Weese JS, Weber DJ
Reviewed: April 2019