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

Deep Bay artist creates abstract sculptures using cement

Birgit Piskor’s artist journey has blossomed from gardener to sculpture

Fill the fire engines in District 69 for 2018

Firefighters set to conduct annual food and toy drive

Grandmothers to Grandmothers host annual Christmas Extravaganza

Crafts, baked goods, knitting and many more homemade treasures available at fundraiser

Gridiron Whalers go marching past Saints

Ballenas defence holds off surging Langley to secure spot in playoff quarterfinals

Who wants to have coffee with Parksville’s mayor?

Coffee with Ed Mayne will take place Thursdays, starting Nov. 15

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Most fatal overdose victims did not have recent police contact: Stats Canada

11 per cent of those who fatally overdosed in B.C. had four or more contacts with the police

Tragic conclusion to search for overdue hiker west of Campbell River

An overdue hiker was found deceased on the shore of Lower Campbell… Continue reading

Who was Chris Bloomfield, the Mill Bay man shot by police?

A troubled man with a voracious appetite for illicit drugs and a non-conventional lifestyle

Calgarians head to the polls to declare ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ on Winter Games

The question “are you for or are you against hosting the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games?” was to be posed to them Tuesday in a plebiscite to help determine whether the city should move ahead with a bid.

Heir’s big birthday: 70 candles lined up for Prince Charles

Prince Charles turns 70 Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, still serving in the heir to the throne role he has filled since he was a young child.

Vancouver Island duo honoured for raising $1 million for MS

Darcie and Kevin James hail from Cobble Hill

Trudeau lays down challenge to companies in bid to boost trade with Asia

“Building the relationships, building the connections, building the facility and also changing mindsets — getting Canadian companies to see the opportunities we have around the world to partner and invest.”

CNN sues Trump, demanding return of Acosta to White House

CNN is asking for an immediate restraining order to return Acosta to the White House.

Most Read