Dogs make people happy. That's why you'll see tiny Yorkshire Terriers and giant English Mastiffs roaming the halls and lobbies at Edward. They're part of the Animal-Assisted Therapy program. Our dogs and their handlers have visited more than 150,000 patients over the last 11 years. Aside from providing a "touch of home" there are specific therapeutic goals associated with each visit.
PHOTOS: ANIMAL-ASSISTED THERAPY AT EDWARD HOSPITAL
How it works
Our dog/handler teams visit patients, at their request, in just about every part of the hospital every day of the week. The visits usually last about five or ten minutes. We also have special programs for our dogs who meet with behavioral health patients from Linden Oaks Hospital.
Watch a video and learn more about the benefits of an animal-assisted therapy visit.
How to apply
Temperament Testing for new dog/handler teams will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2013 with Training on Saturday & Sunday, November 16-17, 2013. Before you apply, click here and review qualities of an "A+ Therapy Dog." If you and your dog would like to be part of our program, complete the volunteer application or call Cynthia Brooks, Program Administrator at 630-527-7335 or Wendy Yellin at 630-814-7655 for more information. Applicants will be added to an email list providing occasional updates to schedules and other information pertinent to Temperament Testing. Applicants must fill out an on-line application and be prescreened prior to getting a Temperament Testing appointment. We are unable to accommodate walk-ins for testing.
There's science to back us up, but the bottom line is our patients feel better when our dogs are in the neighborhood. Thinking less about their illness also means less anxiety, pain, blood pressure and loneliness. Our teams also attend community events and visit schools in the community.