Jillian Zielinski of JZ Creative and Luna, a St John’s Ambulance Therapy Dog.

Therapy dogs make appearance at B.C. Games

The St. John Ambulance program launches a pilot project at the Kamloops event

For the first time ever at the B.C. Winter Games, dogs will be part of the action.

The Kamloops St. John Ambulance therapy dog program was asked by the Winter Games committee to help with the health and wellbeing of the athletes during the weekend event.

RELATED: What you need to know today at the B.C. Games

The four-legged friends are set to visit most of the events, for athletes to hangout wih during their downtime.

Adrienne Ganton is one of the dog handlers and explained that as many of the athletes are young, away from home for the first time and taking part in highly competitive events, the dogs are available to offer support and a calm environment.

“There is scientific evidence that petting an animal, especially dogs, can lower your heart rate, lower your anxiety level, lower your blood pressure and give you a good feeling all around,” she said.

Several of the pooches appeared at the opening ceremonies Thursday night, and the wagging tails were a huge hit with both athletes and spectators.

RELATED: B.C. Winter Games opens with an Olympic touch

The dogs won’t be at every event, but athletes can catch the 30 volunteers and their pups at the Sandman Centre, the Tournament Capital Centre and some of the dorms.

If the pilot project goes well, athletes can expect to see their four-legged friends at future B.C. Games events.

“It would be great to get more therapy dogs involved from around the province, so we are hoping this goes well,” said Ganton.


@Jen_zee
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Chilliwack school kids draw ‘don’t drink and drive’ messages on liquor store bags

Children from six elementary schools decorate bags as part of promotion created by local Mountie

New exercise class in Hope fills a need for those who can’t attend other seniors fitness classes

Get Up & Go is gentle exercise with a goal of increasing quality of life and social connections

PHOTOS: Christmas comes early for Hope shoppers

Local merchants kept shops open late for Dec. 8 Ho Ho Hope Christmas Fest

Strong winds to hit B.C.’s south coast

Western regions may see winds of up to 80 km/hr

WATCH: Kan Yon restaurant break-in caught on camera

Owner Kevin Kwong said the break-in will not stop him from doing business

Story of the Year: Deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash

The Canadian Press annual survey of newsrooms across the country saw 53 out of 129 editors cast their votes for the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

Caretaker jailed, must pay back money after stealing $260K from elderly B.C. couple

Antonette Dizon, now 50, had been hired to provide extra care for Henry and Helen Abfalter

Alleged serial bank robber facing charges after Vancouver arrest

Darwin McGrath, 50, was arrested by plain-clothes police officers

Retailers feel the squeeze of their generous return policies

Technology data tracking can clamp down on fraudulent abuse

Canadians to get low-cost data-only mobile phone plans within 90 days: CRTC

Bell, Rogers and Telus will provide plans as cheap as 250MB for $15

5 to start your day

B.C.’s top cop says Surrey needs more Mounties, nublication ban lifted on name of girl killed in Abbotsford school stabbing and more

Police have ‘viable suspects’ in B.C. gangster’s 2017 murder

Crown prosecutor Neil Wiberg was successful in asking a judge to extend the length of time police can hold onto exhibits seized in connection with the homicide.

Man rescued from sinking boat off the coast of Vancouver Island

Mayday call came into Coast Guard saying vessel had taken on water, BC Ferries dispatched to scene

Four per cent of Canadian women report being sexually harassed in the workplace

One per cent of men report being sexually harassed in the workplace

Most Read