Pawsitive Therapy as Medicine

Several doctors say pets can help improve the health of sick patients.
At the Southeast Alabama Medical Center they have started a program to help patients get an extra special dose of medicine.

Meet Lilly the Labrador

"Say hello."

She's a therapy dog but as she walks down the halls of Southeast Alabama Medical Center and visits patients in her own way she is similar to a doctor.

"Lilly will make her feel much better."

It's a volunteer program called Pawsitive therapy that just started months ago after hospital officials had been brainstorming on the idea.

“A couple of year ago we started talking about therapy dogs in the hospital we knew there were other dogs in the state, and across the united states, and we thought we could do it too," says Jamie Weeks, Director of Volunteer Services.

Lilly brings therapy to patients suffering from several health issues... She's only there for about ten minutes, but the benefits are long lasting.

“Obviously we visit with children, we deal with some of the depressed patients who deal within the behavioral medicine unit, stoke patients, any type of head injury patients benefits from it," says Pet Therapy Handler Lisa Gunn.

Not only will she give kisses and shake hands...she also has a few tricks under her collar.

So not only will Lilly see individual patients, but she will also see ten to twenty patients in one group session.

"Not only do the patients enjoy getting a few minutes, to spend with a dog while they are petting them, our therapy dogs always go in and visit with the staff," says Jamie Weeks, Director of Volunteer Services.

All in a “Pawsitive” days work.

Right now the medical center has over a dozen dogs enrolled in the Pawsitive volunteer therapy program.
If you want to have your dog trained for obedience school for the program call the medical center and ask for the volunteer department.

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