Brothers of Mercy’s Sacred Heart Home hosts Pet Therapy Program

Brothers of Mercy’s Sacred Heart Home hosts Pet Therapy Program

Some new, furry visitors have been spreading a lot of cheer throughout Sacred Heart Home over the past few months! SHH has hosted a variety of visiting dogs & their owners throughout the years as part of their Pet Therapy program, but has recently partnered with a new organization, ‘Paws for Love’. Founded by the SPCA, this organization is completely run by passionate volunteers in the community. Its aim: to visit nursing homes, hospitals and assisted living communities, where visits from faithful, four-legged friends often add entirely new dimensions to people’s lives.

 Sacred Heart Home residents and staff alike just love when these gentle and sweet-natured canines visit! Charlie, Gracey, Sadie, Rusty, and siblings Toby & Sadie visit SHH with their owners Patty, Ann, Chuck, Earl and Bobbi throughout various days of the week. No matter who the furry visitor of the day is, the reception is always the same – our residents’ faces light right up! Many will reminisce about the dogs or pets that they have had in the past. Most of the volunteer dogs can do a trick or two, which always results in smiles galore and enthusiastic applause!

The dogs and their owners travel from room to room, interacting and chatting with residents, or sometimes spending a quiet moment together as residents peacefully pet the dogs. The sensitive natures of these remarkable canines make them highly attuned to the residents’ various emotional needs. They can sense whether a tender nuzzle, playful trick or simply resting their heads upon a lap is needed. These visits have been highly beneficial for not only residents, but staff members as well. A quick visit with these guys provides a nice little boost of delight, and in some cases, even acts as a stress reliever.

Sacred Heart looks forward to further growing this wonderful Pet Therapy program, and is grateful to their faithful volunteers and ‘Paws for Love’ for making it such a success!