After being halted due to visitor restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic,
Franciscan Health’s pet therapy program has tails wagging once again in the corridors of Franciscan Health Munster.
Maggie, with her handlers Becky and Mike Buchana, and Ruger, handled by Jackie LaMantia were first to arrive and provide comfort to patients on March 30. Visits will continue during future Wednesdays at the hospital.
“The patients’ reaction was wonderful, and the staff was really excited to see us. We had nothing but smiles,” said Julie Canady, pet therapy program coordinator and administrative assistant in the Franciscan Alliance marketing department, who also participates with her therapy dog Meiko.
“Everyone enjoyed the visit – first time since March 2020 – patients, staff, dogs and their handlers,” said Rev. Francis S. Tebbe, director of mission services at Franciscan Health Dyer, Hammond and Munster.
All dogs participating in Franciscan Health’s pet therapy program are certified by Therapy Dogs International or Alliance of Therapy Dogs.