EMS agency aims to bring therapy dogs to workplaces

The St. John Ambulance N.L. Council wants to improve workplace morale by expanding their dog therapy program

By EMS1 Staff

OTTAWA, Canada — An EMS agency hopes to expand their therapy dog program by boosting morale at the workplace.

CBC reported that St. John Ambulance currently cheers patients up at hospitals and nursing homes with their dogs, but now they want to expand to workplace environments.

"The effect is absolutely immediate," marketing director Roberta Hewitt said. "Everyone is just so excited to see them … it's just a remarkable program. We say we're spreading smiles."

The therapy program is now being offered to corporate sponsors for around $812.

"We have a therapy dog catalog, and companies can thumb through it and select a therapy dog," Hewitt said. "It's our hope that through repeated visits over the course of this year, that the company and the therapy dog and volunteer will build up a relationship, and this will help improve employee morale, and reduce stress in the workplace."

Therapy dogs in the program include Spock, a friendly St. Bernard.

"It's very casual. It can be whatever works for that particular client or individual," Spock’s owner, Rachelle Butt, said. "He's not everybody's cup of tea. He is huge, sometimes people are a little thrown off by his size, but we do have dogs of all shapes and sizes, so we have something for everybody."


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