Dog Therapy Program
The Dog Therapy Program at St. Joseph Hospital is a huge hit, not only with patients, but with visitors, doctors and staff. Our "Pet Therapists" visit with their owner/trainers three days a week. Thor and Tsar, stunning Siberian Huskies, visit with Bruce and Jodi Ekberg on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 - 8:30 pm. Cooper, our "gentle giant" is a Leonberger, and visits with his owner, Lou D'Amore every Thursday afternoon at 3 pm. On Fridays, Nikki, another beautiful Husky, comes with her owner Eileen Van Wie from 3-4 pm.
Some studies have indicated that animal-assisted therapy can significantly reduce pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue in people with a range of health problems.
The consensus is that these dogs and their owners, who are most generous with their time and pets, bring great joy when they visit.
All dogs are certified as pet therapy animals, and pass rigorous training programs.