Tufts PAWS for People partners to offer Therapeutic Pet Services to HBM Patients

On Saturday, March 18th, 2023, the PAWS for People program, which is associated with the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, sent four handlers and their respective pets to visit with and be available for patients from our Thrive (adolescent) and our Empower (trauma) units. Each unit was escorted to our PHP unit where there were three dogs and one cat awaiting their love.

The program which is coordinated by Deb Gibbs, Program Director, was on hand to facilitate the volunteer handlers throughout the visit. The dogs, Bosco, Gemma, and Maui, were all delighted to be brushed, petted and loved during their time at HBM. The cat, MacKenzie, an orange Scottish Fold registered therapy cat, might have created the biggest buzz by lying on a table awaiting love from anyone and everyone. He was the sweetest, purring animal and showcased what the program is all about – unconditional love from an animal.

As we move forward working together, we will be adding more scheduled times for PAWS for People to drop in and spend time with whichever animals they have available. Animal therapy has been proven to have such benefits as reduced stress and overall help with a more balanced mental and emotional state.