Fraser Health introduces first hospital ‘trauma dog’ in B.C.

Therapy dogs can help patients reduce stress and comfort them if they are lonely or depressed

Fraser Health wants to bring some puppy love to Surrey Memorial Hospital.

On Thursday, Oct. 12, Koltan was introduced by Fraser Health during their ‘Puppy Love Day,’ which is a day where the B.C. Pets and Friends volunteer organization brings puppies to the hospital to interact with employees.

Koltan, a three-year-old yellow lab, is the first trauma dog in a B.C. hospital, according to Fraser Health.

As a trauma dog, Koltan provides support to patients in emergency and intensive care units. He also offers support to those who have suffered from relationship violence and sexual abuse.

“Interacting with dogs can improve patient outcomes by creating a therapeutic and healing environment,” said Fraser Health president and CEO, Michael Marchbank.

SEE ALSO: Mac the therapy dog gives comfort to wildfire evacuees

Koltan’s inclusion in treatment plans allows patients suffering from trauma to enjoy some quality time with the young canine. Patients engage in therapeutic contact with him in order to reduce stress.

Studies have shown that therapeutic contact with animals lowers blood pressure, reduces heart rate, improves cardiovascular health and slows breathing for those who are anxious.

Therapy dogs like Koltan can also comfort people who might be lonely or depressed while in recovery.

“Koltan is extremely empathetic. He loves touch and he loves people,” said Lynn Gifford, clinical coordinator, forensic nursing, and one of Koltan’s caretakers. “I have seen him provide companionship to victims of relationship violence who benefit from this nonjudgmental form of comfort.”

Fraser Health doesn’t want Koltan to be a lone ranger for dog therapy.

That’s why Surrey Memorial Hospital is creating a therapy dog team. The goal is to have a database of different dogs so that patients can connect with the dog that gives them the best physical and emotional comfort.

Fraser Health hopes to have the program operational by spring of 2018.



trevor.beggs@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Trevor on Twitter

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants stretch win streak to four by crowning Victoria Royals

Home team owned the play and won despite running into a hot goaltender on Friday

VIDEO: The Force will be with bidders at massive Stars Wars auction

Able Auctions at 19757 92A Ave. hosts event that’s open to public Saturday

Van fire sends plume of black smoke into sky above Willowbrook

Vehicle a charred shell in fire that slowed Friday commute home

South Surrey shots-fired accused due back in court Jan. 2

Cameron Barton arrested Sept. 25 in White Rock

AHUS patient Shantee Anaquod is home for Christmas

Less than a month after receiving first dose of $750K drug, 23 year old healthy enough to go home

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Family Christmas fun at Aldergrove’s Loft Country farm

The Loft Country children’s horse camp in Aldergrove is celebrating Christmas in a new way this year

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

UPDATED: Train collides with car in Maple Ridge

Mother and child both uninjured, track cleared at 11 a.m.

Accused B.C. drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

VIDEO: Pedestrian struck by vehicle caught on security camera

Incident points to danger on the roads not only in low light but also in bright sunshine

Most Read