MORAINE, Ohio (WDTN) – Kettering Health said it has partnered with SICSA, a pet adoption and wellness agency in Washington Township, to ensure the care and safety of pets belonging to inpatients at Kettering Behavioral Medicine Center. According to Kettering Health, it is the first hospital system in the Dayton region to offer this service.

Through this partnership, a liaison at Kettering Behavioral Medicine Center works with SICSA to place the pet(s) in a temporary home, provide updates on the pet(s) to the patient, and coordinate bringing the pet(s) home once the owner is discharged. SICSA Safe Pets Program is also offered at little to no cost to the patient.  

“We are very excited for this partnership and are proud to remove yet another barrier for many patients to seek mental healthcare,” said Julie Manuel, clinical program manager at Kettering Behavioral Medicine Center. “Having this resource will help our patients in their recovery, so they can return home to their pet(s).”

Kettering Health said over the last six months, staff at Kettering Behavioral Medicine Center have been informed of multiple cases of pets being left alone for several days with no care while the owner is hospitalized. Through this partnership, SICSA helps to address this resource gap by providing temporary care for these pets in a foster home.

“The partnership between SICSA and Kettering Health provides an opportunity for pet owners to focus on their immediate medical needs without losing the long-term health benefits they get from their pet,” said Nora Vondrell, president and CEO of SICSA. “Pets provide social and emotional support, reduce isolation, and can encourage healthy habits.”