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Toronto Star: Therapy dogs suit up for Pan Am Games

In a Games first, 125 pooches will visit athletes’ villages

From the Toronto Star article:

The therapy dogs work regular shifts in hospitals and retirement homes, and make special trips to university campuses, airports — anywhere stress levels may be rising.

“I’ve lived in five Olympic villages, and they can be stressful places,” said Dr. Julia Alleyne, the Games’ chief medical officer.

She brought in the dogs as part of a broader effort to provide mental health supports, including psychologists. The practice is not standard at major sporting events, she said.

“It’s a stressful time. People are away from home. They’re often dealing with disappointment. They might be dealing with isolation. They are dealing with a constant barrage of stimuli, and they can become anxious and unsettled.”

Read the full article here:
http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/06/25/therapy-dogs-suit-up-for-pan-am-games.html