STARS has long believed in the value of animal-assisted therapy and extends its programming to include specially trained and certified canine partners. Canine assisted therapy utilizes animals for occupational, physical, speech, or psychological therapy.
We use canine assisted therapy in a variety of techniques: increasing patient grip strength and range of motion through petting, increasing stamina by standing to complete various tasks with the dogs, and improving walking, balance, and endurance by walking a dog.
Patients also work on memory, sequencing, problem solving, speech, and reading improvements. Many patients often forget their fears, limitations, and pain when completing therapy with an animal, whether it be riding a horse or with a dog.
The STARS K-9 program is one way we’re extending the gift of animals to new modes of therapy, stress relief, and sources of motivation and self-confidence.
We currently have 30 certified therapy dogs and certified handlers serving Unity Point Health – St. Luke’s, the Sioux City Public Library, Gigi’s Playhouse, Hospice of Siouxland, Morningside College and Briar Cliff University for finals weeks, and other locations in the Siouxland area.
Click here to meet our therapy dogs!
To find out more about the STARS K-9 Program, or to sign up, give us a call at (712) 239-5042, or fill out the form on our contact page.