Sick children throughout the world could benefit from one unconventional type of therapy currently being trialled by a hospital in Newcastle Australia.
Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital (JHH) in partnership with non-profit Delta Therapy Dog have been trialling a program whereby friendly canines pay regular visits to sick children.
"It just brings joy and therapeutic benefits to people." Pam Withers, voluntary regional coordinator of the program told ABC news.
Dogs aged between 18 months and 10 years are used throughout the program.
Speaking to ABC news, Ms Withers told how the Delta Therapy Dogs helped speed a girls recovery time.
"The very first day that we walked in, the mother couldn't believe it - the girl actually spoke and had a smile on her face.
"She wasn't speaking, wasn't doing anything beforehand, she was just lying there [and] from that first visit, the girl just accelerated in her recovery."
One of the popular visitors to the ward is Zach nine-year-old Maltese-cross-poodle. Zach has been bringing joy to patients for over 7 years, and has no plans of retiring just yet.
"I found that I got great enjoyment from giving back to the community, and the dogs enjoyed it as well," Suzanne Madden, Zachs owner told ABC news.
Let’s hope that other hospitals embrace similar uplifting programs and of course let’s hope Zach and his friends continue to brings many more years of joy and smiles to the children of Newcastle.
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