Baker Victory Services therapy dogs help reduce stress

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Daisee and Anthony are both students at the Baker Hall school and their favorite part of the day is petting their favorite therapy dog, Sherman.

“I like sherman the most,” said Daisee Vertino-Flynn, student.

“Happy he changes my mood, brightens my day. he’s playful,” said Anthony Morales, student.

He’s just one of several dogs through the Baker Victory Services therapy dog program.

“We serve a variety of young children, teenagers, and adults with a variety of disabilities and it doesn’t matter who they are, the dogs come in and they really just work with them,” said Terese Scofidio, Baker Victory Services.

Each of the dogs have different personalities, and some dogs are better suited for different environments.

“Baker is my yellow lab and he’s a little bit more high strung so he doesn’t seem to do as well in high stress really active busy environments. So we make sure that we bring him to a more calm setting,” said Cindy Lee, Baker Victory Services Chief Clinical Officer.

The therapy dogs offer emotional support and help reduce stress.

“The cortisol hormone which is our stress hormone has been proven to diminish when anyone pets an animal of any kind not just a dog, and that our serotonin, our happy hormones increase,” said Lee.

“They’re in our counseling sessions sometimes, the social workers will ask for them because the kids will open up more because how can you not open up when someones licking your face? Really it makes a huge difference for everyone we serve,” said Scofidio.

Rach therapy dog is trained and certified.

For more information on Baker Victory Services dog therapy program go to https://www.bakervictoryservices.org/

You can also call 716-828-9500 and ask for Cindy Lee, Chief Clinical Officer.

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