The Lincolnshire Animal Hospital Dog Therapy Group was established approximately 25 years ago, making it one of the first of its kind in the country. It began with a nucleus of hospital staff and their pets, and through the years, by attracting interest from dog owners everywhere, it grew to its current membership of approximately 25 handler/dog teams that visit a variety of facilities in the north and northwestern suburbs.
Having expanded and matured, the Group has established itself as part of The Lincolnshire Animal Hospital and is pleased to announce openings to qualified people/dog teams. Lincolnshire Animal Hospital Dog Therapy Group (LAHDTG) serves schools, hospitals, nursing homes, facilities for the mentally and physically disabled and hospices throughout Lake and other northeastern Illinois counties.
Our volunteer dogs (and their handlers) bring unconditional love and affection to those in need of a smile or companionship. Our four legged friends and their handlers have been tested and found to be obedient, outgoing and compatible with people and other dogs. The dogs travel free of charge (chauffeured by their handlers) to visit those in need.
Why therapy dogs? Among the many physical aspects enhanced by pet therapy, it has been proven to lower one’s blood pressure and significantly reduce anxieties. When petting a friendly, non-judgmental dog, it has also been proven that stress can be lowered. There have been instances during which non-communicative persons have spoken to therapy dogs when they have not spoken to other humans in the recent past. Conversations established by the handlers often lead to the remembrance of beloved dogs and other pets, thereby inducing pleasant conversation.
For inquiries about participation in the group, information about LAHDTG can be obtained by calling 847-634-9250 and asking for Marilyn Putz, Dog Therapy Group Director.