Therapy dogs soothe sick kids and staff at Children’s Healthcare

Lisa Kinsel started the Canines for Kids program, bringing dogs on staff to be at the hospital at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta every day.

Lisa Kinsel knew Canines for Kids would be a successful program at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, but she never fathomed that one day she’d teach other hospitals how to integrate the program into their facilities. She didn’t imagine speaking about the program to congressional members or a televised conference, but that’s exactly what happened, all because Lisa had an idea. Best of all, that idea led her to Casper, her four-legged best friend.

An idea with legs

For 28 years, Kinsel, 67, worked in volunteer services at Children’s. One of her duties was coordinating a weekly visit by a friendly pack of service dogs, courtesy of Canine Assistants, a Milton-based non-profit that breeds, trains and places service dogs with people who have mobility issues, Type 1 Diabetes, seizure disorders and other special needs.

Trained for 18 months and taught to remain calm in various situations, the labradors, golden retrievers and a mix of the breeds would parade into the hospital every week, tails wagging as they visited the children. Kinsel loved witnessing small hands run through fluffy fur and worried faces lift with joy.

Source: Therapy dogs soothe sick kids and staff at Children’s Healthcare

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