Improving Quality of Life through the Companionship of Pets

Through your donations Delta Society has been improving the health and wellbeing of the sick and infirm through the region, including children and adults who are in hospitals and nursing homes through their Delta Therapy Dog program.

Delta Society received a grant of $9,500 in 2015. This grant supported the intake of new volunteers, the support of existing volunteers and the expansion of the program into the Colac Otway Shire. During the year 110 volunteer teams made weekly visits into 88 Nursing Homes, Hospitals, Disability units & residential homes. The duration of each visit is about one hour and allows these volunteers and their Delta accredited dogs to provide friendship and companionship and most importantly these dogs provide unconditional love.

The benefits of pet therapy can range from:

  • Physicalinteraction with a furry friend reduces blood pressure, provides tactile stimulation, assists with pain management, gives motivation to move, walk and stimulates the senses
  • social/emotional – a visit with a dog provides a positive mutual topic for discussion, promotes greater self-esteem and well-being, and focused interaction with others
  • cognitive – canine companionship stimulates memory, problem solving and game playing
  • environmental – a dog in a facility decreases the feeling of a sterile environment, lifts mood and this continues after visit

Sarah and her dog Cisco are an example of one volunteer team. Sarah and Cisco have been visiting Mercy Aged Care and Colanda – disability accommodation in Colac. Sarah loves animals and is amazed at the impact that they have, she is delighted that due to our funding Delta have been able to place her in a facility close to home.  Prior to that Sarah used to travel into Geelong and found the travel time of over one hour just too much. Sarah notes that “it makes you feel wonderful to put a smile on someone’s face” and that “it makes their (the resident’s) day if they know we are coming to visit them.”