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Pet Therapy Brings Smiles to Patients

July 17th, 2014

It is often said that dogs are man’s best-friend—the companionship and interactions shared can cultivate a wide range of emotional responses—especially for a patient in the hospital.  St. Catherine of Siena Hospital has partnered with the Paumanok Veterinary Hospital to coordinate dog pet therapy for its Behavioral Management and Palliative Care programs.

Commack resident Thomas Ristoff was pleased to see little Peanut while in the hospital. He said, “This just made my day,” as he reflected on the time he spent with his pet. Peanut was accompanied by Paumanok Veterinary Hospital’s Nancy Sisler, and together they visited patients in both Palliative Care and Behavorial Health.

Pet therapy, also known as animal-assisted therapy, is recognized by the National Institute of Mental Health as a type of psychotherapy for treating depression and other mood disorders. Being around pets appears to feed the soul, promoting a sense of emotional connectedness and overall well-being.

Photo (L-R): Paumanok Veterinary Hospital’s Nancy Sisler, Thomas Ristoff and St. Catherine's Social Worker Denise Raab with Peanut.


For more information about St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center, please call (631) 870-3444.