Jo-Ann Johnston with her papillon

Therapy dog program needs volunteers

Volunteers and their dogs visit care homes throughout the North Okanagan, through the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog program

Studies have shown that stroking and touching a dog have helped to lower blood pressure, calm the mentally challenged and refresh the minds of the confused.

“Unlike even the best-intentioned humans, therapy dogs are completely accepting of people to whom they are introduced,” said Jo-Ann Johnston, facilitator of the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog program in Vernon. “They don’t evaluate a person’s  looks,  nor what they might say. They offer unconditional affection that is beneficial for a person’s wellbeing.”

Through the program, volunteers and their dogs visit, on a regular basis, seniors at various establishments throughout the North Okanagan.

Any dog of sound temperament, is older than two years old, has current rabies and vaccination shots and  passes a St. John Ambulance  Therapy  Dog evaluation can become a therapy dog. An evaluator will test the dog’s reaction to people and other dogs in a variety of simulated conditions that may be found in the facilities that are visited — it is not an obedience test.

“We want to know who is the boss, the owner or the dog — said Johnson.

Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and willing to devote a couple of hours every two weeks.

For more information, please call  Johnston at 250-542-6369 or the St. John Ambulance Hall at 250-545-4200.

 

 

Just Posted

Cuteness overload: duckling thinks dog is its mom

Photographer Fiona Hook shot a cute video after noticing one of her ducklings had taken a special liking to her dog.

Fire near Vernon airport “not a concern”

Vernon firefighters attended the scene and found a resident performing a controlled burn

Keep an eye on this up-and-coming Vernon director

15-year-old Bowen O’Brien celebrates filmmaking successes.

Visiting author gets personal

Keri Lefave will be reading from her book, Unfinished, at the Vernon Public Library on Saturday, April 27th at 11 a.m.

Vernon poet launches new book

Kerry Gilbert’s new work, a cautionary tale through the guise of little red riding hood, will launch at the Caetani Cultural Centre’s Studio Gallery April 26 at 7 p.m.

Update: Fire destroys Peachland home on Somerset Avenue

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Summerland student examines effects of sound

Science fair project will go to national competition in New Brunswick

Sons of Anarchy’s Kim Coates stops by Okanagan café

Coates was spotted in West Bank’s Kekuli Café on April 20

B.C. women make 2,200 cabbage rolls for charity

The money raised was donated to former NHL player Aaron Volpatti, who is raising funds for ALS

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Most Read