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Therapy Dog Program

Learn more about the Therapy Dog Program

Call to learn more:

Call: (607) 547-3219

Visit our Resources for Cancer Caregivers Page

To help our local family caregivers who are caring for a loved one with cancer, the Bassett Cancer Institute has assembled a page of local & national resources, tips & nutritional information, & answers to FAQs. Learn more:

Resources for Cancer Caregivers

Bassett Therapy Dogs

The Bassett Therapy Dog program began in 2007 with four dogs: Jax, Zoya, Romeo, and Penny, and their owners, Vivian Beckman, Dr. Marina Bravin, Susan Miosek, and Susan Hughson. New owners and their hospital therapy dogs have come into the program and some have moved on, but the program remains an important part of our Patient Excellence program. Pet therapy is particularly beneficial in a health care setting where patients are often anxious, and the animals are a source of comfort and emotional support. 

Pet therapy dogs are widely used in nursing homes and hospitals to visit inpatients and outpatients. Interaction with pets can help reduce a patient’s emotional pain and improve his or her well-being, as well as lower blood pressure, promote relaxation, relieve agitation, anxiety, and stress, and improve communication. Staff have also reported receiving many of the same benefits as patients when therapy dogs do their rounds. 

Pet Therapy Testimonial

Patients and staff tell how much animal therapy makes a difference:

“A therapy dog and owner visited with a patient at Bassett Medical Center only moments after she had received an upsetting diagnosis, with family nearby to support her. According to the therapy dog’s owner, ‘The patient held onto him, hugged him and cried on him. He was still, and gentle, and nudged her cheek with his nose; he seemed to know that she needed him at that moment.’”

Volunteer Therapy Dog Program

Bassett therapy dogs are all certified by Therapy Dogs International, have annual health screenings, and are in full compliance with all required immunizations, as well as our internal Therapy Dog Program policy.

Learn more about our Volunteer Therapy Dog Program

Information on Bassett’s Therapy Dog Program is available through the Volunteer Services. Call (607) 547-3219 to learn more.

Bassett Healthcare Network’s volunteer therapy dogs help patients by reducing stress, anxiety, and blood pressure in Cobleskill, Little Falls, Cooperstown, and Oneonta.