Mt. Vernon hospital unleashing furry friends to help patients

Mt. Vernon hospital unleashing furry friends to help patients

MT. VERNON, IL (KFVS) - Mt. Vernon's Good Samaritan Hospital has welcomed a few new furry friends into the building.

They just recently started the Compassion Unleashed program which along with art and music therapy also includes dogs to help with their mental health.

By having these programs they hope to make hospitals lose the more frightful connotation that some may have.

They have gotten an outpouring of support from the community to start the program including the Beck family who donated 100,000 dollars.

They currently have 10 teams of dogs and trainers. They were able to team with Jaggers Doggie Daycare to get the dogs certified as therapy dogs.

Many of the staff at the hospital has donated their own time after work to help get the program up and running.

Jennifer Luer is a nurse at the hospital and volunteers her time and her dogs Odie and Andre at the hospital.

"I know how hard it is to be at a bedside for hours, that feels so much longer than they even are," said Luer. "The dogs are really about them a couple minutes of that freedom, to give them back some peace and take care of some of that pain and anxiety."

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