Animal therapy program expanding in Tuscaloosa - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Animal therapy program expanding in Tuscaloosa

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A dog therapist visits a young patient at DCH in Tuscaloosa. (abc3340.com) A dog therapist visits a young patient at DCH in Tuscaloosa. (abc3340.com)
A young girl at DCH got a special visitor from the Hand in Paw dog therapist program. (abc3340.com) A young girl at DCH got a special visitor from the Hand in Paw dog therapist program. (abc3340.com)

A spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down, but the touch of an animal can be healing too. These dog therapists do some of their best work in hospitals.

Now there's a need for more dogs to visit the sick. For the past two years, the responsibility of visiting hospital rooms in Tuscaloosa rested solely on one dog's shoulders.

But the results were undeniable. Now four more teams are in training, and medical facilities in Tuscaloosa are anticipating the presence of additional four-legged therapists through the Hand in Paw Program.

The dogs in training now are going though a very rigorous training to make sure they are prepared to begin visiting people. When they pass the course, not only will they make visits at DCH, but nursing homes, homeless shelters, even bullying programs.

For more information on Hand in Paw visit http://www.handinpaw.org/

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