Volunteer therapy dogs give unconditional love at Our Place

WatchThe benefits of pet therapy are well-known and volunteer therapy dogs are making a big difference at Our Place. Tess van Straaten reports

Four-year-old Rudi loves his treats and he has a tendency to lie down on the job — a lot.

But the people he brings joy to at Our Place Society wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Rudi’s an amazing dog, truly an amazing dog,” says Sam Reynolds, who likes to visit with him. “Even when he’s asleep.”

The 140-pound bundle of love is a volunteer pet therapy dog and he and his owner, Christy Grear, come to the Victoria shelter every other Tuesday.

“Rudi loves the treats and belly rubs and all the attention he gets,” Grear says.

They started coming when Rudi was just six months old, to give unconditional love to those who need it the most.

“He’s great,” says Brittany Hilton, as she pets Rudi. “I love dogs.”

“Dogs are wonderful, they give love unconditionally and aside from treats, they don’t demand anything,” adds Reynolds. “They give of themselves.”

Our Place started the therapy dog program three years ago and Rudi was once of the first dogs.

But now they’re looking for more volunteers to help him out.

There’s so many people we have here who just aren’t getting love in their lives,” explains Grant McKenize of Our Place. “Dogs just automatically give that so we’re always thrilled when a therapy dog can come in and just give people that sense of peace and belonging and love that they’re missing in their lives.”

For Grear, bringing Rudi in has been an incredibly rewarding experience.

Their hour-long visits often run long with so many people wanting to give Rudi a pet and a cuddle.

“I love coming here and I love seeing Rudi interact with people when people are having difficult days,” says Grear. “He really cheers them up.”

If you’re interested in volunteering at Our Place click on this link.

Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

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