Therapy pets help patients and others at UPHS-Marquette

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Therapy animals can have a great impact on patients in the hospital and their family members. In fact, according to Pet Partners, therapy dogs have a significant, positive effect on patients' pain levels and satisfaction with their hospital stay, and they can even increase positive social behaviors in children on the autism spectrum.

At UP Health Systems Marquette, you can often find therapy dogs improving the lives of patients, caregivers, and even hospital staff.

Kelly December, a volunteer pet therapy handler with UPHS Marquette and Superiorland Pet Partners, says her three-year-old Bernese mountain dog Daisy loves to help people feel at ease.

December says Daisy had to go through extensive training to be a therapy dog, including testing to review how well she interacts with people and her obedience. December says not every animal is qualified to be a therapy animal, which is why there's such extensive testing.

Daisy has visited the hospital, libraries, local children's programs, and many others to help provide a sense of calm to those who meet her.

If you'd like to schedule a visit from Daisy or another therapy pet, you can speak with your patient staff member or the volunteer services at your hospital.

You can also get in touch with Superiorland Pet Partners at 906-204-2218.

Learn more about the Pet Partners program here.