PHOENIX - Banner therapy dogs are making a return to volunteer and visit patients, after more than a year not seeing patients due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Banner Health Associate Director of Volunteer Resources Jenna Davis says it was sad in the hospital without them.
"It was really sad in the hospital. We didn't have our volunteers who were lighting up our hallways," said Davis.
Therapy dogs are at limited capacity, but 9-year-old white German Shepherd Crystal and her owner Guy Dileo were welcomed back to volunteer at Banner Baywood.
"A couple of times, we'll be in the doorway and she'll do some tricks and they'll get a kick out of it to see what she can do" said Dileo.
Davis says the main focus is on interacting and they are currently in the process of phasing in volunteers, but have seen a big difference with having therapy dogs back.
"We are seeing them in our lobbies outside of our emergency department, and so that's been really rewarding for our guests coming in, as well to see a loved one they get that interaction with our therapy dogs, which brings a lot of comfort coming into a hospital," said Davis.
There's no set date on when the dogs can interact with patients, but Banner Health is hoping it's in the very near future.
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