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Stormont Vail celebrates National Therapy Animal Day with ‘Picnic With Pups’

Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 6:23 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - April 30th is National Therapy Animal Day and Stormont Vail celebrated by bringing some puppy-love to its staff.

National Therapy Animal Day was created to recognize all of the work that’s done by certified therapy animals and their human companions.

“We’ve seen families of loved ones that have been in tragic accidents or you know having chronic illnesses and stuff and just seeing their pet their just able to breath a sigh of relief and just kind of give way of their worries for a little bit,” said Sarah Elsen

To honor their pet therapy teams and raise awareness for the program, Stormont Vail let the dogs out.

“Pre-pandemic they went around and visited like the cancer center and pediatrics but we thought with all the stress that has been under the past year of the pandemic its been a great opportunity for stress relief for staff.”

Staff and patients at the hospital were invited to the north tower court yard to de-stress and get some pet therapy of their own

“I know our staff has been under a lot of stress with our patients being just confined and having to social distance and get that one on one affection and touching and things like that and pets are a great way to provide some of that.”

Stormont Vail wanted its staff to see first-hand  the role that animals can play in enhancing the mental health of humans.

“So its a great social thing, you know a lot of times if you don’t feel like you can talk to someone else just talking to a pet is a great thing to do and get your worries and your stress off it brings joy and it brings happiness who really doesn’t love puppies and dogs.”

Stormont Vail is also in need of volunteers for their pet therapy program. They even have a scholarship program that will reimburse your expenses to get your pet certified.

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