At Rogers Behavioral Health, we believe in the benefits that the love and warmth of our four-legged friends can bring to those in need. We’re reaching out to those who, like us, recognize the invaluable comfort that dogs can provide to individuals on their journey towards mental health and wellness.
Our Experiential Therapy department is seeking canine comfort volunteers who are willing to join us in making a difference by visiting with patients at our Oconomowoc and Brown Deer campuses in Wisconsin.
We are specifically looking for dedicated teams of canine volunteers on a weekly or biweekly basis, during evenings and weekends. Your role will be to participate in supervised group settings with our patients, offering them not only comfort, but also the joy and happiness that a dog’s companionship can provide.
Our campus serves as a sanctuary of hope for so many, and we are eager to enhance the environment with the presence of your furry companions.
To ensure the safety and well-being of our patients, we have some requirements in place:
- Canines must hold current pet therapy certification from an approved organization.
- Handlers must provide the following information about their dog: proof of certification, negative fecal test, vaccination list including proof of current rabies vaccine, and a yearly exam report.
- Handlers will be asked to go through a background check and complete our Free and Clear of Communicable Disease form as well as participate in a series of computer-based learning modules and agree to follow Rogers Bevarioal Health agreements prior to visiting.
If you feel called to bring comfort and hope to those in need, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Together, we can foster an envirornment where the power of human-canine connections can grow.
The patients at Rogers Behavioral Health are waiting for you! Contact Mariah Skindingsrude at Mariah.Skindingsrude@rogersbh.org for questions or to get started.
Benefits in behavioral health setting
Any dog lover can tell you that canines possess qualities that help people feel better. The mere presence of the animal – its spontaneous behaviors and opportunities for interaction – are good for the mind, body, and spirit. In fact, scientists have discovered that petting, touching, and talking with animals can boost levels of oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin in our brains, bringing comfort and joy to the people they interact with.
Over the years, many members of the clinical staff at Rogers Behavioral Health have witnessed the benefits of this relationship as patients interacted with the four-legged companions who came to visit Rogers. Shoulders relaxed. Smiles grew. Connections were made.
And, dogs are also in a unique situation to display emotions and behaviors that may not be deemed professionally appropriate for our clinical staff, such as taking on a comforting role.
Learn about Rogers' Canine Assisted Intervention program
Looking for additional ways to make a difference? Consider supporting our Canine Assisted Intervention program funded 100% by grateful donations to Rogers Behavioral Health Foundation. Learn more.