Mackenzie is a Havanese trained to promote the integral improvement of patients as part of an animal assisted therapy program. Every week, he visits the patients of the Hospital with his human friend Lynn. He is a member of the Hospital’s Paws for Patients Program, designed to bring the healing power of dogs to patients, their families, and staff.
Therapy dogs deliver proven benefits to patients in different units such us oncology, cardiology, physical rehabilitation, pediatrics, psychiatry, and neurology.
Programs like Paw of Patients are becoming more and more frequent and are spreading all over the world, increasing the number of dog owners interested in training their puppies to become therapy dogs. Numerous organizations work to improve the quality of life of dogs, teach people how they and their pet can become volunteer pet partners, such as therapy, service and assistance dogs, and make the world a better place.
Pet Partners, formerly known as Delta Society, is one of them. This international not-for-profit organization’s main goal is to improve people’s health with the incorporation of therapy, service and companion animals into their lives. This organization focuses on providing information on both service dogs and the health benefits of interacting with animals to people with disabilities and their families.
Pet Partners bases its actions on the proven fact that the company of a dog provides physical and psychological health benefits. Numerous studies show that by interacting with dogs, patients can feel less stressed, anxious and depressed due to a decrease in their blood pressure. Pet Partners also trains, registers and screens volunteers and potential therapy animals so they can visit patients in different health or community centers.