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Happy Halloween from our AAT dogs

Monday, October 28, 2019

Standing: Bob Heldmann and Wrigley, Heidi Shor and Levi, Kim Clark and Lacie, Ken Browning and Rizzo, Pat Monti and Ellie May, Georgiana Macey and Riley, Terry Meinke and Maxine, Carmie King and Gracie, Marty Sobelman and Roxie and Kathy Tabak and Daisy. Kneeling: Dawn Thompson and Kirby, Sandie Sanford and Daisy, Kathy King and Scamp, Pat Smith and Sadie and Fred Bartling and Clarice.

Every day, patients at the hospital and other locations can get a warm welcome from a furry friend if they request a visit through the Animal-Assisted Therapy Dog Program (AAT). To date, there are 78 teams – dogs and handlers – who visit 365 days a year. One of the highlights for patients is the annual Halloween parade, which took place on Saturday, October 25.

Sydney Sodergren and Remi; Jodi and Mark Arbus with Candy; Jim and Mary with Maggie; Danielle Gattuso and Copper; Carol VanderMey and Jessie; Kathy King and Scamp; Kristen Gottschalk and Norman; and Beccy Gurion and Sonny. Standing: Cathy Buchwinkler and Bella; Amy Arbus, Ron and Patty Herron with Buddy; Steve Buckwinkler and Mr. Beans; Carmie King and Gracie; Nicole and Emerson Kouri and Benny; Ken and Amanda Browning and Rizzo.

Earlier this month, NCH’s newest group of volunteers, Team 15, went through training to become NCH-certified.

“The group did a wonderful job with their first visits and in this group we have many families visiting with their dog,” says Kathy King, who coordinates the program. “We have three husband and wife teams, a mother/daughter team, and a husband, wife and daughter team.”

Dogs in the AAT Program visit an average of 1,000 patients per month.

Learn more about the program or get an application to join the AAT team. You can also make a charitable donation to the program by visiting the NCH Foundation and designating Animal-Assisted Therapy.

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