Hospital looks for therapy dogs for patients

It's all part of the "Caring K9 Program."

DANVILLE, MONTOUR COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)- Hospital patients are in need of some 'puppy love.' Geisinger is asking for all paws on deck from volunteers who would be willing to work with their therapy dogs.

Puppies pop into rooms at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, all part of the hospital's Caring K9 program.

"I say we work for smiles and there's not a patient usually that we don't get one from," says Arris Moser, a volunteer for Caring K9.

But those smiles are in jeopardy. Officials say there is a lack of volunteers. Right now, only six people are giving time to the cause. Those who currently take part in the program say the effects are tangible.

"I remember watching one woman that was very stressed out and I was visiting her and as I was talking to her she was petting [a therapy dog]," says Joe West, another volunteer for Caring K9. "I was watching her monitor and her blood pressure just started to drop."

With patients feeling the love with these dogs, Geisinger is looking for more of them and they need you to come and be a volunteer.

"We are expending our role in different areas," says Diane Pardoe, Geisinger Volunteer Coordinator.

But that won't happen unless 10-15 more certified therapy dogs come on board.

"The dog needs to be at least a year old," says Pardoe. "The handlers go through the volunteer process here at Geisinger to be on-boarded."

It's all paws on deck as they rally for more love.


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