About Us

The St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program is a community based service offered by St. John Ambulance Volunteers. The program started in June 1992 as a pilot program in Peterborough, Ontario and today reaches thousands of people on a regular basis throughout Canada. It was introduced to Nova Scotia in March, 1999 and to Prince Edward Island in 2000.

Much of the success of the program is directly attributed to the renowned reputation of St. John Ambulance as a charity. St. John Ambulance has been involved in community service for over 900 years, and has recently celebrated its 125th Anniversary in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. St. John Ambulance Therapy Dogs have become a familiar sight in hospitals, retirement residents, long-term and short term care facilities.  These four-legged volunteers are accepted in most places where a little care and love is greatly appreciated.
 
Program Details:

Activities:
The Therapy Dog program provides an opportunity for patients/residents to:

- Talk with the volunteer and the dog
- Feel, touch, pet, stroke and/or cuddle the dog
- Receive unconditional love from the dog
- Assist with walking the dog on a leash

Impact:
Through petting, affection, and regular visitation of a dog, patients/residents find peace in the gentle contact with the dog and in its quiet presence. Patients talk more to others, participate in activities, eat and sleep better, smile more. As a result their quality of life is improved.

Other program benefits have been found to include:
- Reducing stress levels
- Lowering blood pressure
- Calming the distressed
- Comforting the dispondent
- Distracting the pain-ridden

Volunteer Benefits:
- Community involvement and volunteer satisfaction

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