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

Vernon Pee Wee Vipers blitz Penticton

Teigan Kelly scores three times as home side rolls to 9-4 minor hockey league victory

PHOTOS: Pumpkins big – really big – and small invade Armstrong IPE Grounds

Pumpkin launch and biggest pumpkin contest among highlights of 19th annual Harvest Pumpkin Festival

Vernon columnist seeks stories for potential book

Carole Fawcett of The Morning Star’s Boomer Talk column wants to hear from boomers and seniors

North Okanagan Knights split with Summerland

Each team record KIJHL victories on home ice in weekend home-and-home series

Vernon Vipers avenge mid-week loss to Chilliwack

Vipers roll to 4-1 BC Hockey League victory Saturday on home ice

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

Shuswap ski area vies for $250,000 as top-four finalist in national contest

Help needed to accumulate votes or ‘clicks’ Friday, Oct. 18 through Sunday for trail lighting project

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

Most Read