Therapy Pets calming healthcare anxieties

Published: Feb. 25, 2022 at 4:22 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Man’s best friend is helping people in our hometowns get vaccinated.

The Roanoke City & Alleghany Health District has been partnering with TheraPets of the Roanoke Valley, calling it a tremendous win for the community.

They say it’s been shown people who have anxiety around needles or health care settings can benefit from the calming presence of a therapy pet.

One of the therapy dogs is six-year-old Jax, a golden lab.

He’s also visited local hospitals, schools, and nursing homes.

”He’s had a really good time; he likes children in particular,” says Jax’s handler and owner, Bob Villamil. “He’s been able to work with a lot of kids and they love interacting with him. He does little tricks for them and things to entertain them that get their minds off of getting shots.”

In case you’d like to have the extra support of a therapy pet when you get the shot, the last TheraPet clinic at the Valley View Vaccination Center will be held Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Folks can walk in, no appointment needed, for a first, second, or booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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