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

MULTIMEDIA: Fair weather, food and fun at VIEX in Nanaimo

A gallery of the second day of the Vancouver Island Exhibition at Beban Park in Nanaimo

Urban planner wants to join city council to help build Nanaimo

Tyler Brown held his campaign launch this week

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Former homeless camp ‘dump site’ being cleaned up along Millstone River

Nanaimo’s Jeff Callaghan has taken up the task of clearing trash from abandoned homeless camp

Discontent City plans another rally in response to threats

‘Emergency rally’ at Nanaimo homeless camp slated for Sunday, Aug. 19

VIDEO: Fires break out in scrap piles at Harmac mill

Nanaimo firefighters got blazes under control in early morning hours Saturday

RCMP looking for missing Duncan teen

Dallas Macleod, 18, was last seen on Aug. 10

Two hurt in car wreck at Northfield intersection

NANAIMO – Honda and Volkswagen crash at 10 p.m. Friday on old Island Highway

Nanaimo’s VIEX country fair underway

Vancouver Island Exhibition happening Aug. 17-19 at Beban Park

Vehicle catches fire on Rutherford Road

NANAIMO – No one hurt in incident, which happened at 2:30 p.m. Friday

VI Raiders score comeback victory against Langley Rams

Nanaimo team erases 31-7 deficit to beat Langley Rams 35-34

Evacuation order issued in Island village due to “risk of falling debris”

Fire continues to threaten town’s only access road

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Most Read