Dogs Needed For Pet Therapy Program

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On Tuesday, November 6, Paws for Patients, the hospice canine therapy program offered to patients of the Barnabas Health Hospice and Palliative Care Center, will host the first in a four-session volunteer training program. The program, designed for dog owners interested in volunteering to visit hospice patients and families with their dog, seeks volunteers to visit patients in Essex, Morris and Union Counties.

In order to participate in the Paws” program, a dog owner must complete the four-session training program and his/her dog(s) must complete and pass a therapy dog qualification administered by a recognized pet therapy organization. Each volunteer team will be assigned to patients who live in close proximity to the volunteer’s town of residence.

The training program, which will be held in West Orange, is designed to give new volunteers insight into the needs and challenges of patients and families who are coping with advanced illness. Among the topics covered are an overview of hospice care, listening skills and bereavement issues.

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The training program will start Tuesday, November 6 from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. and continue on November 14 and 28, and December 4. Registration is required. To register or for more information, please contact Laurie Berkman, Paws for Patients Program Coordinator, at 973-322-4800 or by e-mail.

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