Hospice of Central Ohio wants to expand pet therapy programs for patients and families and is seeking more animal owners who are interested in becoming pet therapy companions.

Pets have a long-standing history of providing companionship and unconditional love for humans in their lives, creating a powerful bond. Studies have shown that interaction with pets can reduce stress and anxiety, lift spirits and decrease feelings of isolation. The resulting health benefits include reduced blood pressure, improved cardiovascular health and the release of endorphins that have a calming effect. Interaction with animals can also encourage communication and socialization.

Liz Adamshick, Manager of Volunteer Services at Hospice of Central Ohio, says such responses make pet therapy a wonderful addition to patient care. “We require animals to be trained and certified in order to see patients who request a pet therapy companion visit,” she explains. “We have had wonderful feedback on the impact interactions with animals have with our patients and families.”

To find out more about pet therapy and how you can become a part of this important service for patients and families please contact volunteer services at Hospice of Central Ohio, 740.788.1404 or volunteerservices@hospiceofcentralohio.org.