Fraser Health introduces first hospital ‘trauma dog’ in B.C.

Therapy dogs can help patients reduce stress and comfort them if they are lonely or depressed

A three-year-old yellow lab named Koltan has become the first trauma dog at a B.C. hospital.

The Fraser Health Authority introduced the dog during their “Puppy Love Day” on Thursday at Surrey Memorial Hospital, as part of an event in which the B.C. Pets and Friends volunteer group brings puppies to the hospital.

As a trauma dog, Koltan provides support to patients in emergency and intensive care units, as well as to those who have suffered from relationship violence and sexual abuse.

“Koltan is extremely empathetic. He loves touch and he loves people,” said Lynn Gifford, clinical coordinator, forensic nursing, and one of Koltan’s caretakers. “I have seen him provide companionship to victims of relationship violence who benefit from this nonjudgmental form of comfort.”

SEE ALSO: Mac the therapy dog gives comfort to wildfire evacuees

His inclusion in treatment plans allows patients suffering from trauma to enjoy some quality time with the young pup and reduce stress. He can also comfort people who might be lonely or depressed while in recovery.

Studies suggest therapeutic contact with animals lowers blood pressure, reduces heart rate, improves cardiovascular health and slows breathing for those who are anxious.

Surrey Memorial Hospital is even creating a therapy dog team, hopefully ready by next spring. The goal is to have a database of different dogs so that patients can connect with the animal that gives them the best physical and emotional comfort.



trevor.beggs@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Trevor on Twitter

 

Just Posted

Vernon homeless are considered local

The concept that many of Vernon’s homeless are transient is being contested.… Continue reading

Lake Country residents provide input

On Thursday, the citizen OCP workshop will build on the community input gathered at June’s On Point session

Family worries about missing Malakwa woman

Discovery of human remains has put family members on edge

Update: Police expand search in North Okanagan-Shuswap

Examination continues in Silver Creek, while another search happens between Salmon Arm and Enderby

Who is Curtis Sagmoen?

The Observer reveals what we know about the man attached to the Silver Creek property where human remains were found

Jack Garton and the Demon Squadron impress crowds at Vernon show

Jack Garton’s accordion doesn’t play that incessant bouncing polka, or that tedious carnival-ride refrain. Garton’s accordion plays raspy chords and smoky riffs: ones you usually don’t hear from the squeezebox.

Ex-employee describes alleged sexual assault by B.C. city councillor

Complainant was a teen during the alleged 1992 incident

Jack Garton and the Demon Squadron impress crowds at Vernon show

Jack Garton’s accordion doesn’t play that incessant bouncing polka, or that tedious carnival-ride refrain. Garton’s accordion plays raspy chords and smoky riffs: ones you usually don’t hear from the squeezebox.

Artist recruitment begins for 2018 sculpture exhibition

Penticton is looking for sculptors to participate in its second public sculpture exhibition

Amazon gets 238 proposals for 2nd headquarters

Submissions were due last week. Online retailer has said tax breaks and grants would be factors

Contenders to perform at Okanagan venues

This year, musicians Valdy and Gary Fjellgaard will be joined by Blu and Kelly Hopkins

Justin Timberlake invited back to Super Bowl halftime show

A ‘wardrobe malfunction’ with Janet Jackson caused a national controversy during his last appearance

A scary box office weekend for everyone but Tyler Perry

‘Boo 2! A Madea Halloween’ scared up a healthy $21.7 million in its first weekend in theatres

Even as long-form census data returns, Statcan readies for day without it

Wednesday’s release is expected to show immigrants making up a larger share of the population

Most Read