East Central Therapy Dogs have been visiting in the Peterborough area since 2002. We have approximately 60 volunteer members visiting with their dogs in our community, contributing over 5000 volunteer hours each year.
We visit nursing and retirement homes in Peterborough, Millbrook and Lakefield, VON day care centres, Community Living centres, local group homes and the Peterborough Regional Health Centre. We also give presentations to other service organizations and community groups.
Our program is self-supporting, funded by our annual calendar sales. Funds provide uniforms and leashes to our teams and insurance coverage to our clients.
+ Stroking a dog lowers our heart rate, our blood pressure and our stress level. It lowers the cortisol level which is the stress hormone in our bodies
+ Looking into a dogs eyes helps to release the oxytocin hormone in our bodies. It helps us to feel better!
+ Calms & distracts
+ Helps clients cope with health problems
+ Provide comfort & enjoyment
+ Builds friendships & reduces loneliness
+ Unique opportunity to volunteer with your dog
+ Meet new people and develop new friendships
+ Observe the positive impact the dogs have on our clients and our community
+ Our handlers play an important role that complements the dogs’ engagements with our clients. They have conversations with the clients that, over time, create friendships built on a foundation of trust and respect