They are our newest team – Yay! Dolly’s such a gentle giant.
They passed their Pet Partners evaluation and are now official as a therapy bunny team working with Jack’s DOGs (and rabbits)!
Congratulations also to Bruce & Piper on renewing, Bruce and Maddie on their new team registration, and Amber & Dolly on becoming a new team.
They passed their Pet Partners evaluation and are now official as a therapy dog team working with Jack’s DOGs!
Also Congratulations to Jane & Piper and Maddie, and Jan & Ruby who all successfully renewed their registrations.
This grand, awesome, amazing, almost-15-year-old Lady passed her Pet Partners evaluation for the 7th time with a perfect score! She has laryngeal paralysis, cataracts, and “Arthur I. Tis,” but she refuses to quit inspiring her patients and everyone she meets. She says she still has work to do and even acts as much like a puppy as she can when it’s time to visit! She’s visited more that 13,000 people in her career in all kinds of facilities. A wise old-soul.
Therapy Pet Program visits increase in 2017
For a couple of years now, some special hospital volunteers have made the rounds at Franciscan Health central Indiana sites to offer their skills as therapists, greeters and, occasionally, ball-fetchers.
Melody Walters (right), a patient in occupational therapy, brushes Gryphon as part of her therapy session with Bridget Kress, OT. Therapists incorporate activities with the dogs, such as brushing or tossing a ball filled with treats, when appropriate to the patients’ needs and willingness to interact with the animals.
The Therapy Pet program brought in volunteers like Gryphon, an 8-year-old black Labrador retriever, and his owner and trainer, Jan Nowicki, to provide a special presence that provides healing in unique ways. Always accompanied by their handlers and escorted by a hospital staff member or volunteer, therapy dogs visit lobbies and departments like the outpatient cancer infusion center, inpatient occupational therapy, palliative care, Hospice House and SICU. They have even made appearances during staff events, including those for AICU, and participated in Senior Promise and Walk with a Doc programs.
As part of her research presentation at the 2017 Barbra Cunningham Showcase, Tammy Haslar, DNP, compared the annual visits of the therapy pets in 2016 to 2017. Last year, pets made 106 visits and 2,768 contacts; in the first nine months of 2017, pet visits exceeded that total at 140, and contacts were more than 3,381 during that time.
According to several research studies that Haslar consulted, proven benefits of a 10-minute session with a therapy pet include:
* 3% lower breathing rate
* 22% drop in pain severity
* 19% boost in energy
* 48% decrease in depression
* 64% drop in feelings of anger
* 39% decrease in fatigue
“The use of therapy pets has been studied for decades, and the benefits support what we recognize as that special bond between humans and pets,” said Haslar. “It’s rewarding to see how Franciscan Health has embraced this program and the way it touches more lives each year.”