|Single-use therapy dog Thomas Cavendish, shown here mere moments before incineration|
"The IDSA understands and appreciates the joy that a visit from a therapy dog can bring to a hospitalized patient," IDSA President William G. Powderly explained. "Our new guidelines allow for both high quality infection control and snuggling with an adorable canine companion. In fact, that's one of our core values."
While the majority of American hospitals do not currently use disposable therapy dogs, some have been stocking them for years. Mort Fishman MD, Chief of Infection Control and Prevention at Our Lady of the Bloated Coffers Regional Medical Center in Lafayette, Louisiana, initiated a move to single-use dogs in 2012. "It cost us $73 million to expand storage and upgrade disposal capabilities, but it was worth it after that unfortunate autoclave incident."