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Therapy_Dog_certfication_Jan_28_copySixteen dogs were awarded their certification to serve as therapy dogs for hospice patients.

HIGH SPRINGS – On Jan. 28, Canine Good Citizen/Therapy Dog International Evaluator Brenda Sheldon and Laurie Snell, her assistant, came to Hospice of the Nature Coast’s facility in High Springs to put therapy-dog hopefuls and owners through their paces. The goal was to determine whether each dog had the temperament, training, personality and qualifications to serve as a therapy dog and visit hospice patients to lift their spirits.

After more than two hours of planned exercises, casual observation and individual testing, 16 dogs passed the certification requirements and are eligible to register with both the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program and Therapy Dogs International.

Most of the dogs and owners who successfully completed certification will now volunteer with Hospice of the Nature Coast.