VHCC adds pet therapy

Staff report

VERSAILLES — Victoria Jones, of Piqua, has joined the activity department of the Versailles Health Care Center.

She specializes in pet therapy.

“What I tell everybody is that we are dogtors. AAT stands for animal assisted therapy and can be used with any person, patient, resident, staff, or family members alike. That is because dogs heal; that’s why we do what we do,” Jones said.

Pet therapy is the guided interactions between a person and a trained animal. In this case, the animal is a canine named Dozer. Dozer has had many years of experience as a therapy dog. He is also certified as a service dog and an emotional support dog for families at funerals.

The purpose of providing pet therapy at VHCC is to help patients recover quicker from the illnesses. Spending time with the pet therapist and her animals can help facilitate a person’s recovery. Petting and talking to the pet and its trainer can increase self-worth and happiness in a person. This can help lead to decreased time in a hospitalized setting.

Pet therapy can also help a person meet therapy needs. For insance, some animals can help reinforce rehabilitation in patients who need practice throwing a ball or walking, because the pet can retrieve the ball and/or walk with them while they are exercising.

The benefits of a weekly visit can be used simply to brighten up someone’s day. There are many residents and/or patients that reside in senior settings who don’t like to join or mix with other people. For personal reasons, they have chosen to seclude themselves. A visit from a therapy animal can really brighten their outlook.


Staff report