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CGH Seeks Top Dogs…and Their Humans…for the Love on a Leash Therapy Program

Hospital news | Monday, June 15, 2015

Contact: Dana McCoy

CGH Medical Center is recruiting well-trained, well-mannered dogs – and their humans – for its Love on a Leash animal-assisted therapy program. As part of this program, therapy dogs and their owners visit the hospital to bring comfort to patients, helping reduce stress and pain levels, while also improving patient/staff communication.

The first step in becoming a Love on a Leash volunteer is completion of an application. Next is a telephone screen to determine canine candidates who meet the requirements for temperament testing. This testing is scheduled for Wednesday, July 15, 2015 in the CGH Medical Center Ryberg Auditorium from 5:30 to 7:00 PM.

Dogs (and their owners) that pass temperament testing must then be able to attend a mandatory training program at the hospital Friday evening and Saturday, October 10 and 11. During this training, mock and trainer-supervised patient visits and a briefing on hospital policies and infection control practices will prepare teams for hospital visits.

To be considered, dogs must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least one year of age;
  • Sit/down/stay/recall on command;
  • Walk loosely on a leash without pulling;
  • Get along well with other dogs;
  • Perform required commands without treats;
  • Like people;
  • Not be overly vocal;
  • Free of skin problems; and
  • Current on all vaccinations

Love on a Leash is a joint program of the CGH Health Foundation and CGH Auxiliary. For additional questions, please call Deb Keaschall, Auxiliary Coordinator, at 815.625.0400, x5727.