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P.A.W.S. Calendar Fundraiser Brings Comfort to Caregivers

By Janet Maurice on 5/28/2015

The therapy dog program at Griffin Hospital has helped bring comfort to patients for years. Thanks to a recent fundraiser, they are now bringing extra comfort to the families of terminally ill patients.

People and Animals Working in Spirit (P.A.W.S.), the therapy dog program at Griffin Hospital, sold calendars featuring photos of its canine caregivers this winter and raised $1,450.  Calendar photo credits: Amy Tuccio 

The funds were used to purchase care bags for the caregivers of hospice patients. The bags include items to help relieve stress and provide comfort, including poetry and aromatics.

“We’re so thankful to everyone who purchased a calendar in support of this cause,” said Ruth Tuccio, P.A.W.S. Coordinator at Griffin Hospital. “Providing extra support and care is at the heart of our program and we wanted to make sure families of our most special patients receive a little extra comfort when they need it most.”

Founded in 1996 with just one greyhound, P.A.W.S. provides therapy dog visits to patients at Griffin Hospital and rehabilitation centers to provide companionship and help decrease anxiety. The program now has sixteen certified therapy animal and companion teams with dogs ranging in size from a Shih Tzu to a Bernese Mountain Dog.

The Griffin Hospital Hospice program brings comfort, dignity, self-respect and tranquility to patients in the final stages of life. The program offers trained staff that work collaboratively with family members to discuss care and respond to factors that may influence the patient’s physical and mental well-being and provides comfort items for the patient and the family members.

For more information, contact P.A.W.S. Program Coordinator Ruth Tuccio at 203.732.1298 or rtuccio@griffinhealth.org.

Photo - Tess, a registered therapy dog (center) with the Griffin Hospital P.A.W.S. program, and her companion Inge Van ark, pose with a gift bag designed to bring comfort to the families of patients admitted to Griffin’s Hospice program. The bags were purchased through the 2015 PAWS Calendar fundraiser  Photo credit: Amy Tuccio 
dog therapy
Ruth Tuccio
therapy dogs at Griffin Hospital