Benefits of pet therapy - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Benefits of pet therapy

Posted: Updated:
Saint Francis works with the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri to bring in other volunteers and pets as well to visit with rehab patients. Saint Francis works with the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri to bring in other volunteers and pets as well to visit with rehab patients.
Dr. Hunter brings her 4-year-old golden retriever, Buddy, to Saint Francis to work with patients as part of the hospital's pet therapy program. Dr. Hunter brings her 4-year-old golden retriever, Buddy, to Saint Francis to work with patients as part of the hospital's pet therapy program.
"He makes me feel better when he's laying beside me on the bed," said Annie McCormick or Poplar Bluff, Mo. who is a patient in the rehab center. "He makes me feel better when he's laying beside me on the bed," said Annie McCormick or Poplar Bluff, Mo. who is a patient in the rehab center.
  • SPONSORED BY SOUTHEAST HEALTHMore>>

  • Beshear: 413,000 sign up for health care in Ky

    Beshear: 413,000 sign up for health care in Ky

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 3:22 PM EDT2014-04-22 19:22:11 GMT
    Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear says more than 413,410 people have signed up for health insurance through Kentucky's marketplace in the first enrollment period that ended March 31.
    Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear says more than 413,410 people have signed up for health insurance through Kentucky's marketplace in the first enrollment period that ended March 31.
  • Too little sleep may add to teen health problems

    Too little sleep may add to teen health problems

    Many teens from lower- and middle-income homes get too little sleep, potentially adding to the problems of kids already at risk for health issues, new research finds.
    Many teens from lower- and middle-income homes get too little sleep, potentially adding to the problems of kids already at risk for health issues, new research finds.
  • BJC changes charity care standards

    BJC changes charity care standards

    Sunday, April 20 2014 1:01 PM EDT2014-04-20 17:01:10 GMT
    Charity care has long been a core mission of BJC HealthCare, but the St. Louis area's largest employer is cutting back amid increasing financial pressures.
    Charity care has long been a core mission of BJC HealthCare, but the St. Louis area's largest employer is cutting back amid increasing financial pressures.
  • HealthMore>>

  • FDA to propose e-cigarette regulations

    FDA to propose e-cigarette regulations

    © FDA© FDA
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing long-awaited regulations governing the fast-growing electronic cigarette industry.
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing long-awaited regulations governing the fast-growing electronic cigarette industry.
  • People seek out health info when famous person dies

    People seek out health info when famous person dies

    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...
    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...
  • Spouse's sunny outlook may be good for your health

    Spouse's sunny outlook may be good for your health

    Marriage vows often include the promise to stick together for better or for worse, and research now suggests that when it comes to your health, having an optimistic spouse is better.
    Marriage vows often include the promise to stick together for better or for worse, and research now suggests that when it comes to your health, having an optimistic spouse is better.
  • Latest Health NewsThe Latest from HealthDayMore>>

  • Kids' genetic risk for obesity rises with age, study finds

    Kids' genetic risk for obesity rises with age, study finds

    As children get older, genes appear to play an increasing role in whether some kids become heavier than their peers, a new study indicates.
    As children get older, genes appear to play an increasing role in whether some kids become heavier than their peers, a new study indicates.
  • FDA to propose e-cigarette regulations

    FDA to propose e-cigarette regulations

    © FDA© FDA
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing long-awaited regulations governing the fast-growing electronic cigarette industry.
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing long-awaited regulations governing the fast-growing electronic cigarette industry.
  • Spouse's sunny outlook may be good for your health

    Spouse's sunny outlook may be good for your health

    Marriage vows often include the promise to stick together for better or for worse, and research now suggests that when it comes to your health, having an optimistic spouse is better.
    Marriage vows often include the promise to stick together for better or for worse, and research now suggests that when it comes to your health, having an optimistic spouse is better.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

If you have a pet you know they can make you happier.  But more and more research is showing they can make you healthier as well!  A program at Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau, Mo. is proving how vital man's best friend can be.

"Pet therapy is known historically to decrease blood pressure, decrease anxiety, help with motivation, decrease pain," said Dr. Heidi Hunter, the medical director of inpatient rehab at Saint Francis.

"He makes me feel better when he's laying beside me on the bed," said Annie McCormick or Poplar Bluff, Mo. who is a patient in the rehab center.  "I don't hurt as bad when he's with me."

Dr. Hunter brings her 4-year-old golden retriever, Buddy, to Saint Francis to work with McCormick and other patients as part of the hospital's pet therapy program.  

"I tried multiple medication, I tried ice. Just really nothing worked." said Dr. Hunter. "The first day she met Buddy she just connected with him.  It's like she doesn't have pain for that 30 minutes," Dr. Hunter added.

Saint Francis works with the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri to bring in other volunteers and pets as well to visit with rehab patients.  

"He may chase the ball that they throw with their affected side, they may brush him, they may just talk about him, they may walk him, Dr. Hunter said.

Sandra Dare of Jonesboro, Illinois began rehab at Saint Francis after suffering a stroke.  Her husband, Matt, is amazed by the affects of pet therapy.  

"When my wife first started she was semi unconscious and when buddy would come in it sort of woke her up," Matt said.

"When you're not feeling so well, it kind of makes things better," Sandra added. 

Now Sandra works with Buddy weekly, improving her coordination, speech and memory.  Matt has felt the benefits too.  "He comes up and wants me to pet him and hold him and he sits there and it just relieves a lot of stress on a person," Matt said.

Inpatient rehab manager, Jessica Hanna, says it's a benefit that can be felt by all.  "Just sort of brightens the whole department staff and patients alike," Hanna said.          

Dr. Hunter hopes to eventually expand the pet therapy program at Saint Francis Medical Center.  She says patients who have pets at home will be able to enjoy the benefits with their own pets when they leave Saint Francis.

Copyright 2012 KFVS. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow

310 Broadway
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

FCC Public File
publicfile@kfvs12.com
573-335-1212
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KFVS12. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.