NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — Three dogs are part of a new Pet Therapy Program at Newport Hospital.
The program began before the pandemic with Jane Regan and her Labradoodle Willoughby, according to Newport Hospital spokesperson Erik Scalvino.
Earlier this year, Regan was at a local dog park where she made friends with Celeste Catterall and her Aussiedoodle Roxy. Catterall and Roxy later earned their pet therapy certifications and became official members of the program.
Willoughby and Roxy were soon joined in the program by Lynn St. George and her Pomeranian Stella.
Scalvino says the dogs are so popular among patients and staff that administrators are using a detailed spreadsheet to schedule their appearances and make sure every area of the hospital gets visited by the dogs at least once a week.
Willoughby, Roxy and Stella typically spend a few hours at the hospital during their shifts, visiting with patients and staff to bring them much-needed love and affection.
Scalvino says Newport Hospital hopes to expand its pet therapy program. Anyone who is interested in learning more is urged to contact the hospital.