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

READERS REACT: Pedestrian slapped with jaywalking ticket after being hit in Surrey

Some of our readers were very vocal about the punishment handed out by the Surrey RCMP

Reported pedestrian incident in Surrey bogging down traffic on 152nd Street

A pedestrian accident southbound on 152nd Street near 93rd Avenue is slowing down the commute

Border officers to rally at Peace Arch crossing

‘No desire to inconvenience the public’

Surrey urged to ‘rethink how they donate’ after mess on 135A Street

‘It creates quite a mess and we’re trying to keep that area really clean’ says Surrey Urban Mission director

‘Surrey LRT makes good business sense,’ board of trade CEO insists

‘This is Surrey’s moment to truly consider what it wants to be,’ Huberman writes

VIDEO: Top 4 ‘can’t-miss’ stories from Surrey

Now-Leader reporters Trevor Beggs and Amy Reid break down memorable stories from past few issues

Quarter of students were away sick at Maple Ridge elementary school

Students and teachers at Maple Ridge school away with colds, flu.

Suspect in Revelstoke standoff killed himself: RCMP

Mohammadali Darabi, suspect in the Calgary homicide of his roommate, was stopped in Revelstoke

Clinton visits Vancouver, applauds Trudeau, celebrates Democrats’ win in Alabama

Clinton told crowd she cheered when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed the country’s first gender-balanced cabinet.

VIDEO: Salt Spring Islanders ferry piano to their floating home

Everyone enjoys a little music on the water, but not everyone has a piano on their boat

Frustrated federal workers rally against Phoenix payroll system at B.C. MP’s office

Some employees out tens of thousands of dollars with ‘no end in sight’

Bomb detonated in Kamloops neighbourhood

Kamloops RCMP are investigating after an improvised explosive device was detonated Wednesday morning

No More Shootouts: Strong defence will be Canada’s backbone at world juniors

Head coach doesn’t want a situation where a hot goalie or a lucky bounce can determine a team’s fate

Full Cupboard Holiday Program: Raising food, funds and awareness.

Envision Financial and Langley Advance support area food banks this season

Most Read