YRMC Therapy Dogs Trained to Help Hospital Patients

YRMC Therapy Dogs Trained to Help Hospital Patients


YUMA, AZ - Boe and his owner Doloris are one of many who went to Yuma Regional Medical Center for an evaluation on Saturday, to see if Boe will pass a series of tests to become a therapy dog.

Cindy Lipton is with Pet Partners an organization that helps train not only these dogs, but their handlers as well, before they work with patients in the hospital.  "The first part actually is the handler training. The handlers or two legged animals as I like to call them, go through extensive training through either a workshop or an online course so that they are familiar with not only the requirements for their animal, but are familiar with the facilities." Says Cindy.       

Pet Partners formally known as the Delta Society. Is a group that works with the Yuma Regional Medical Center to form therapy dog groups.  Each year dog owners take part in a handler and dog training session before seeing an evaluator. Simple tests include, if a dog can walk through a crowd calmly, and if the dog listens to instructions given by their handler.  Once they pass they are allowed to work in facilities such as hospitals or nursing homes where companionship is needed the most. Patients get to interact with the therapy dogs and receive their unconditional love and acceptance during their stay in the hospital.

The Yuma Rotary Club supports and funds the organization. They say they are proud to support a group like this one because it is much needed and will help patients feel comforted during a stressful time. "This member came to our club and her husband was hospitalized in San Diego and there was this pet therapy program there. She saw the affects of it in person and she said we really need to have a program at YRMC" Says Yuma Rotary Club Member Chuck Nordquist.  

Boe and Dolores are just happy to be able to become future helpers and bring joy to someone who needs it. "With these animals when they make someone smile they've done their job. Every time a patient sees one they break into a big smile its incredible the reaction we get." Says, Doloris Gauna.                          

Not only will Boe be helping others. But will also make his owner Doloris very proud.


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