The notion of pet therapy began in the 1860’s although most studies were conducted in the 1980’s. Even famous nurse Florence Nightingale recognized that animals provided a level of social support in the institutional care of the mentally ill over 150 years ago. You may have read that dogs can smell cancer in their owner long before a formal diagnosis is made, or how they calm children with epileptic seizures and bring people out of comas. Depression in older patients can be common, especially if they recently lost a spouse, received terminal diagnosis or had to move from the comforts of home. Our past experiences when providing pet therapy to our patients here at Faith and Hope Hospice, has shown us how pets provide unconditional love, comfort and help reduce anxiety, particularly with patients in nursing homes. Faith and Hope Hospice provides pet therapy visits done by a cute lovable certified dog named “Sunshine” who passed 3 testing challenges: AKC Canine Good Citizen, Alliance of Therapy Dogs, Inc and St. Joseph’s Pet and Purpose program. Our “Sunshine” is just that: Sunshine. She is a happy dog that loves everything and everyone. She is known for delivering comfort and leaving peace for our patients and families. If you or someone you know needs hospice care and would benefit from pet therapy you may contact us for a free consult/assessment at (877) 797-1977.