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Published on February 25, 2011

Wags Program Seeks More Volunteer Dogs

Animal Assisted Therapy Program Continues to Grow

The Wags animal-assisted therapy program at Palos Community Hospital is in need of naturally confident and docile dogs and dedicated owners/handlers to continue to grow this successful program. Dogs must be at least one-year-old, demonstrate proficiency in basic obedience, and be up-to-date on vaccinations, among other health standards. Dog handlers must be at least 18-years-old, be a caring individual with good communication skills and have time to make the commitment.

People wishing to volunteer for Palos’ Wags Animal-Assisted Therapy program need to complete and mail back an application. Selected applicants will be invited to have their dog's temperament tested. Handlers and their dogs who pass will attend a thirty-hour training and certification program. You can download a copy of the Wags application and read more about the program at or call (708) 923-5593 or complete an application online at

Wags is just one more way Palos Community Hospital provides quality holistic care, not just for patients but for families as well. “Given the positive experiences by patients, visitors and staff, we hope that we will continue to have volunteer and dog teams join our program so we can extend this service to all appropriate units,” explains Jill Beechler, co-coordinator of Wags. “We are fortunate to have found dedicated volunteers who have wonderful dogs that have a lot of love to share.”