Pet Therapy at Riley: “He feels like a pillow.”
As we celebrate National Therapy Animal Day, we want to shine a light on the Pet Therapy program at Riley Hospital for Children. (The program is on hold temporarily due to the coronavirus outbreak.)
Did you know?
• Pet Therapy visits are part of the Riley Child Life program.
• Donors including PetSmart Charities support the Riley Pet Therapy program.
• The 25 therapy dogs that visit kids throughout Riley Hospital are registered through national pet therapy programs.
• Studies show petting a dog eases stress and motivates children to participate in treatment.
A 9-year-old Teddy Bear Goldendoodle named Lambeau is one of several Pet Therapy dogs who pay regular visits to the Emergency Department at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health.
Watch this video of Riley Pet Therapy in action, captured in January, prior to the coronavirus outbreak.
The cuddly canine brings instant smiles to the young faces. There are joyful giggles and heartfelt hugs replacing the stressful moments. For many kids at Riley, the brief encounter leaves a lasting impression. Sheri Shaw is a Riley volunteer and Lambeau’s owner. “He likes coming to visit you and helping you smile,” Sheri said to 14-year-old J.D. Bonilla Sanchez as Lambeau curled up next to him during a visit in January. “He feels like a pillow,” said J.D.
Sheri says Lambeau loves hugs, and most patients can’t resist his adorable looks and gentle demeanor. His wagging tail is a clear sign Lambeau enjoys his role too.
Pet Therapy is part of the Child Life program at Riley Hospital. To make a gift please visit RileyKids.org/Donate.
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