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Taking care of the patient,
not just the cancer.

3555 10th Court | Vero Beach, FL 32960

Canine Companions Provide Peace and Comfort

Knowing that sometimes a canine friend can offer some of the best medicine for the psyche, Scully-Welsh Cancer Center implemented the pet therapy program. Patients undergoing cancer treatment often experience anxiety so a visit with a furry friend can provide a warm and loving distraction. After a visit by one of the pet therapy dogs, patients visibly show improved mood and energy levels and sometimes schedule their appointments to coincide with the dogs visiting. Their companionship helps pass the time while receiving treatment.

Sometimes the extent of the visit might be limited to a wave from a hospital bed to a dog outside the room. Other patients might request longer visits, asking for the dog to sit in their lap and stay a while. Spending time with nurturing canines can provide much needed peace and comfort. The dogs are particularly welcomed by patients who are not able to have a pet at home and the program provides them with a calming interaction with a four-legged friend.

To become certified through Pet Partners, Alliance of Therapy Dogs, or Dog Therapy International, all of the Scully-Welsh pet therapy dogs must complete different tests flawlessly which involves the highest level of training in obedience and temperament. In addition to the certification for the animals, the owners must complete the volunteer program at the hospital. Once the pet therapy dogs and their handlers have passed a thorough screening process, they volunteer for one hour every week at the center.