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Paw Patrol:

At Your Service

Name: Remco, Belgian Malinois

Age: 4

“Remco came to the Mahwah Police Department when he was about a year and a half old, and we’ve been partners since then. He is a Belgian Malinois, and his primary duties are in narcotics and patrol, so he is able to locate the odor of illegal narcotics, track a suspect who has fled a scene and help locate lost citizens. He lives with me and my family, so we’re together 24/7; I could get a call in the middle of the night that we’re needed, and Remco and I are out the door. He’s a great partner, and we’ve formed an extremely strong bond, which is essential. I use very specific commands, he knows my body language, and I can tell what he’s thinking, so when it’s time to go to work, he’s always ready. I take him into schools and other community programs as well as our Junior Police Academy for demonstrations, and the kids really like him. We go to the park whenever we can so he can run around and chase his ball just to use up some energy, which he has a lot of. Remco has become part of our community, and I think people like seeing him, knowing he is here to protect them.” –Canine Officer Robert Rapp, Mahwah Police Department

Name: Jax, Shih Tzu

Age: 10

“Pet Therapy has been one of the most cherished programs we offer at Valley since it started in 2003. We have 34 dogs of all shapes and sizes, from a little Yorkie to a big Irish wolfhound. They are all certified as therapy dogs and are allowed in almost any part of the hospital. Many times we take a dog to see elderly patients who were missing their dogs, and they cry or have big smiles when they see a dog. One woman even tried to hide a therapy dog under her covers so we wouldn’t take him! Dogs are the most innocent and light-hearted creatures, and they just want to see you smile. They seem to know who needs the extra love and provide them with lots of comfort. We’ve seen people who are having trouble expressing their needs, but when the dog comes in and sits on the bed, they almost immediately become relaxed and more open. They’re a great distraction. Pets have been shown to lower blood pressure and decrease anxiety. When volunteers take their dogs into the rooms to visit patients, we call it the best free medicine we can provide.” Kaitlyn Moceri, Volunteer Resources Supervisor, Valley Hospital

Name: Sweet Tea, Rescued Greyhound

Age: 10

“Part of our Pet Therapy program at Valley is also providing the service to staff and visitors here at the hospital as well as within the community. The dogs are available to our employees and visitors here as a pick-me-up during times when they need it. The staff, especially in the critical care units, looks forward to us coming in, often crowding around the dogs to pet them. Many times after having a bad day, they tell us how much they needed that moment and it was the brightest part of their day. Visitors in the critical care units are especially grateful to see the dogs, many crying and hugging them. Some days we can barely get through the first floor because visitors, staff and doctors stop to talk to the dogs and want pictures with them. We also take them to local schools, like Ridgewood High School and Paramus High School, during finals or midterms. The kids really love having them there. They visit nursing homes in the area where they are a big hit with residents and go off-site to our pain management and infusion centers because who doesn’t need a lick from a loving dog? We get a lot of requests for them and try to help whenever we can.” –Pat Alberta, Pet Team Escort, Valley Hospital

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