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Pet Therapy: Creating Smiles for Kids - Pediatrics

A special visitor at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is helping children feel better. It’s all part of the pet therapy program.Sheryl Weiner is a volunteer for the pet therapy program at Lee Health. Every Tuesday, she and her Dalmatian Chloe roam the halls of Golisano Children’s Hospital. “All I have to do is take the vest out and she just knows. She gets so excited!”Wrapped in her red harness, Chloe trots happily around each floor of Golisano Children’s Hospital. “Chloe pops in around the corner, and we get this huge smile. The kids just love it. It distracts them. It gives them something to focus on. It gives them something to talk about,” said Weiner.Chloe is one of about 30 furry volunteers at Health Park Medical Center and Golisano Children’s Hospital. Each day a different therapy dog visits the hospitals offering patients a comforting distraction. “Oh, I love it. There’s just nothing like it. The difference you’re making just by bringing Chloe in to visit it’s making their day,” said Weiner.Like many of her friends at Golisano Children’s Hospital, Chloe knows what it’s like to be sick. She’s overcome heart worm and cancer. “We noticed immediately how gentle she was and how she loved people and I thought she would make a great therapy dog,” said Weiner.Shortly after she was rescued Chole was certified as a therapy dog, and Sheryl became a volunteer at Lee Health. Every visit they light up the hallways and patient rooms bringing in a little therapy for both the staff and patients.View More Health Matters video segments at Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.Visit