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Sunday, May 22, 2022

Edward-Elmhurst Health is recruiting new dogs for Animal-Assisted Therapy program

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Above / To help promote the Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) program at Edward, volunteer Lisa Tillman (L) holds her dog Rosie while volunteer Deb Reyes holds her dog Phoebe. Both dogs are Shorkies: a Shih Tzu/Yorkshire terrier mix. (EEH Photo)

Edward-Elmhurst Health is seeking more dogs for its Animal-Assisted Therapy program at Edward Hospital and Elmhurst Hospital. To be considered, visit www.eehealth.org/ways-to-give/volunteer/animal-assisted-therapy and complete the online application.  Applicants will be contacted for pre-screening.

Pre-screening June 10, 11 or 12

Dogs that meet qualification requirements will be scheduled for temperament testing on one of the following days – June 10, 11 or 12 – within a two-hour time slot at Edward Hospital, 801 S. Washington Street in Naperville.

Mandatory training in July

Dogs and their handlers selected for the program must attend mandatory training at Edward Hospital on Saturday and Sunday, July 16-17 or July 23-24, from 8AM to 5PM both days.

For more information, call Cynthia Brooks at (630) 527-5305 or email cynthia.brooks@eehealth.org.

Michael McMahon, an Animal-Assisted Therapy volunteer at Elmhurst Hospital and owner of golden retriever Ruben, poses for a photo while making his rounds. (EEH Photo)

To be considered, dogs must meet the following requirements:

  • Sit/down/stay/recall/leave it on command

    In 2012, Edward celebrated its first decade of animal-assisted therapy.
  • Walk loosely on a leash without pulling
  • Get along well with other dogs
  • Perform required commands without treats
  • Like people
  • Not be overly vocal
  • Be at least one year of age at time of testing
  • Lived with handler for at least six months at time of testing
  • Current on all vaccinations
  • Prong collars, gentle leaders and retractable leashes are not accepted
  • Handlers must be 18 years of age or older

Handlers and their dogs are encouraged to have completed a group obedience training class within the past year.

Edward-Elmhurst Health’s Animal-Assisted Therapy program began in 2002 and has made more than 235,000 patient visits since the beginning of the program.

For more information, call Cynthia Brooks at (630) 527-5305 or email cynthia.brooks@eehealth.org.

News and photos submitted by Janet Hosey, Content Specialist, for EEH.

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PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.

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