story. Wolfson Children's Hospital is expanding one of its popular programs. The pet therapy program that helps sick children...is growing It's called Healing Paws. It gives kids who are hospitalized for a long time or have a life-threatening illness the chance to visit with their dog one-on-one. Channel 4's Ashley Mitchem shows us how it helps. 3 3 17-year-old Vanessa Blond is a Cystic Fibrosis Patient at Wolfson Children Hospital.She hadn't seen her dog Ginger for three weeks because she's been in the hospital.But today she was reunited with her pet- all thanks to the new Healing Paws program.Vanessa Blond, Cystic Fibrosis Patient 08:42 it's boring and it's lonely and to be able to see your dog and for him to come and give you kisses and cuddle with you I think it's great and comfortingThe hospital converted a hallway down into an area that's suitable for having pets brought from home. Allowing children to spend time with their pets09:41 You need comfort when you have illnesses and stuffBlond's grandmother says she's happy Ginger can now spend time with Blond and keep her company. Debbie Fleenor, Granddaughter is Hospital Patient 01:05 it just relaxes her it relaxes Vanessa when she can sit and pet the dogWolfson staff members say there's evidence having pets around the sick helps improve their overall well being, helps shorten the length of time that they're in the hospital and generally speaking improves their level of care.Pat Kirkland, Child Life Coordinator 06:23 Kind of scary to be in the hospital, a difficult time to be separated from family and friends and pets and if we can do anything to make it easier than that's what we're here to do that's what this program is all about Wolfson says this makes them the first pet visitation program at a Children's hospital in the country. AM C4 TLS.