Pets pay little attention to age or physical ability; they accept people as they are, making them a valuable companion and friend. Visiting with animals is a welcome change from the patient’s daily routine and can help alleviate the feelings of loneliness, depression and stress. Pet interaction is a heart-warming time to look forward to and provides a great distraction from pain and infirmity.
There are numerous benefits to the Hospice Hounds program with lasting effects. Patients often “speak” to the pets, sharing thoughts, feelings, and memories they may not share with human companions. Petting and stroking the animal makes use of hands and arms, an easy way to encourage a patient’s movement, like stretching and turning. Time with the animals can inspire happy thoughts of both the present and the past.
Hospice Hounds volunteers and their pets are specially trained and certified as pet therapy teams. These teams are available for visits to our patients and for specialty events.
The Hospice Hounds team may visit the patient in their private home, long-term care or assisted living facility, or where the patient calls home.
Visits may be arranged by request through the patient’s nurse, social worker, or with a direct call to Hospice of Odessa's Volunteer Coordinator (432) 686-6101.