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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Edward Hospital’s Animal-Assisted Therapy is recruiting new dogs

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Edward Hospital again is seeking more dogs for its Animal-Assisted Therapy program. To be considered,  visit www.edward.org/animalassistedtherapy and complete the online application. Applications should be submitted at least two weeks before the temperament testing date. Walk-ins cannot be accommodated. Applicants will be contacted for pre-screening.

Those who meet qualification requirements will be scheduled for temperament testing on Sun., Sept. 23 at Edward Hospital, 801 S. Washington St.

Dogs and their handlers selected for the program must attend mandatory training at Edward on Fri., Oct. 5, 5-9PM; and Saturday and Sunday, October 6-7, 8 AM-5PM both days.

There is a $30 fee for temperament testing and a $125 fee for the training sessions.

For more information, call Wendy Yellin at (630) 814-7655.

To be considered, dogs must meet the following requirements:

• Sit/down/stay/recall on command

• Walk loosely on a leash without pulling

• Get along well with other dogs

• Perform these commands without treats

• Like people

• Not be overly vocal

• Be at least one year of age

• Current on all vaccinations

• Free of skin problems

It is recommend applicants and their dogs have completed a group obedience class in the past six months. To learn what is expected during temperament testing and to practice the skills necessary to pass the test, please visit www.dogbuilders.com, select “Therapy Dog Programs” and play the video, “Therapy Dog Skills for Hospitals.”

Did you know? Edward’s Animal-Assisted Therapy program began in 2002 with 15 teams. Today, there are nearly 100 teams with 45 breeds represented. Teams have made more than 130,000 patient visits since the beginning of the program, which has been cited as a “Best Practice” by the Joint Commission, an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies more than 15,000 healthcare companies and programs in the United States.

“I love my Edward therapy dog” stickers can be reproduced at Minuteman Press.

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