Therapy dogs provide comfort for local senior citizens - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Therapy dogs provide comfort for local senior citizens

Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Tracy Montoya / Source: KFDA Tracy Montoya / Source: KFDA

Kassi, Kash and Artemis are on a mission to raise spirits provide affection and happiness to senior citizens who live in nursing homes.

The therapy dogs are standard poodles who work with Interim HealthCare Hospice.

"It's really interesting to see someone who is very anxious about their end of life prospects get the chance to take their mind off of that for a little while and put their focus onto something that bring backs a lot of memories to them," coordinator Crystal Taylor said.

In the last year, the trio has made 25 visits to local homes including The Craig, Legacy Rehabilitation and Amarillo Skilled Nursing. They have also visited the small communities in Wheeler County.

Right now the dogs tend to make between one and two visits a month, not enough to cover the demand for such animals.

Taylor says Interim is in need of more therapy dogs to increase more visits locally and in surrounding communities.

Their handlers say the purpose of the dogs is to love patients who may be going through a hard time.

"We were visiting our third patient and she (Kassi) laid her head on the lap of a patient and the patient just started crying," handler Tracy Montoya said. "The patient had a strong emotional release and it was a good release they were happy and at the same time I knew Kassi was doing something for them."

Senior citizens are not the only group of people the dogs have an impact on Montoya says they also bring positivity to caregivers, staff and family members.

If you are interested in learning more about these therapy dogs or would like to join their team you can contact Crystal Taylor at 806-352-0241.

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