Therapy dogs program

Therapy dogs program

The Therapy Dog Program is run by St. John Ambulance in Yellowknife. Any dog of sound temperament can become a Therapy Dog, regardless of size or breed, once they pass the St. John Therapy Dog test. All volunteers must be able to make the commitment of time to visit on a regular basis. They must also be willing to participate in a screening process, which includes a criminal record check.

Evaluation sessions are held to test dogs on obedience and temperament. Testing consists of a heeling pattern to show control when walking, a sit and down stay, noise distraction, greeting a friendly stranger, reaction to other dogs, interaction with wheelchairs, accepting a treat from a stranger, a patient draped in a robe and a crowd petting the dog. Once the dog and handler have passed the test  they’re ready to visit their designated facility under supervised visits.

Therapy Dogs offer unconditional love and friendship to the sick, lonely and helpless. Dogs are non-judgmental. They are undeterred by human frailties and accept human illness, handicap or disfigurement, confusion or tears. They calm the distressed, distract the pain-ridden, and comfort the despondent. They, in return, are often accepted when humans are rejected. If you are interested in the program and would like more info, contact Trevor or Christine
at St John Ambulance, 873-5658 or info.yellowknife@nt.sja.ca