St. Luke's Pet Pals
Being in the hospital can be stressful! Pet Pals is a UnityPoint Health – St. Luke's volunteer program that uses specially trained dogs, cats, and their humans, to provide an opportunity for patients to benefit from animal interactions. Our talented and specially trained canine and feline volunteers have helped bring comfort and smiles everywhere they go for over 20 years.
Studies show that interactions with pets can provide several benefits:
- Relieve stress
- Reduce anxiety
- Lower blood pressure
- Distract from pain
- Alleviate sadness and depression
- Encourage healing
- Promote physical activity
- Enhance physical rehabilitation and speech therapy
- Social interaction
- Offers comfort
- And much more!
Family members and friends who sit in on animal visits say they feel better, too. Our staff LOVE our furry volunteers!
At St. Luke's, we offer so much more than exceptional healthcare and what could be better than a visit from a furry friend?
We recruit volunteers with Pet Partners and Therapy Dogs International (TDI) certification.
, formerly known as Delta Society, was the first comprehensive, standardized training in animal-assisted activities and therapy for volunteers and health-care professionals. Pet Partners® certifies about three million visits a year with a variety of clients including veterans with PTSD, seniors living with Alzheimer's, students with literacy challenges, patients in recovery, people with intellectual disabilities, and those approaching end of life.
Pet Partners invites prospective volunteers to attend a free, one-hour informational webinars
(online interactive presentations) to learn about our Therapy Animal Program. Led by experienced volunteers with the assistance of Pet Partners staff, these sessions will cover the process for becoming a registered therapy animal team
with your pet.
Therapy Dogs International® (TDI)
is an organization dedicated to the regulation, testing, selection, and registration of qualified dogs and handlers for the purpose of visitations to hospitals, nursing homes, and facilities or any place where Therapy Dogs are needed. Founded in 1976, TDI has registered over 24,750 dogs in all 50 states.
The TDI Test includes two phases with 13 individual tests and additional exercises within each test. The TDI Test is designed to simulate a visit with a therapy dog at a facility. TDI outlines all of the testing qualifications and rules in their Testing Requirements Pamphlet
and at their website tdi-dog.org
. Dogs must be evaluated by a Certified TDI Evaluator as well as passing health and temperament standards.
Meet St. Luke's Pet Pals
St. Luke's Pet Pals Visit Coe College Before Finals