St. Elizabeth's is looking for a few good dogs to spend time with patients

Posted at 4:30 AM, Feb 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-14 06:44:28-05

EDGEWOOD, Ky. -- Therapy dogs have been around for a while at St. Elizabeth Healthcare's hospitals, but their visits never get old. 

Lora Blevins and her therapy dog, Carry Ann, have been volunteering at St. Elizabeth's for two years. It turns out the large Bernese mountain dog is quite a conversation starter. 

"One ... it brings up memories. And two, it gives them something else to look aqt other than the four walls that are around them," Blevins said. 

The therapy dogs are at units all over the hospital, but the handler decides which one they prefer. 

"The program basically strengthens the animal-human relationships," volunteer George Kent said. 

There are only 10 volunteer teams, so St. Elizabeth's is looking for a few good dogs. Erin Pittman, the hospital's lead volunteer coordinator, said she "would love" to add 10-20 more teams. 

"The requirements are really that a dog likes people, but not so exuberantly that they're all over the people," Kent said. 

The first of three informational classes is scheduled for Thursday. Click here for more information about the meetings and volunteering.