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 2018 Kamloops B.C. Winter Games

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

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

Kelowna Big Bike set to ride

Proceeds from the bike go to the Heart and Stroke Foundation

White Rock man dead after vehicle rollover near Kelowna

RCMP suggest that icy road conditions may have been a factor

Gas prices spike overnight in Kelowna

It’s going to cost a lot more to drive around this week.

Kelowna among Top 20 “rattiest” cities

Rats — they’re here and they’ve earned Kelowna a dubious distinction

Gangland slaying left mark on Kelowna

It’s been a few days since Kelowna residents learned that a plea deal may have been struck.

VIDEO: B.C. man recognized for spinning basketball on toothbrush

Abbotsford man holds world record for longest duration of time of 60.5 seconds

B.C. man arrested in cross-border drug smuggling operation

William Milton Barnes of Victoria faces multiple charges

KIJHL’s Chiefs name Law new head coach

Ken Law, who coached for eight seasons in Osoyoos, has 40 years of coaching experience.

Political heavyweights hit Washington in hunt for NAFTA deal

Officials from Prime Minister’s office, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland part of talks

Greenbelt Microgreens recall in B.C., Alberta, due to Listeria concerns

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says there have been no illnesses linked to the microgreens

Commit to harassment-free environment or forego federal arts funding: Joly

$552,000 coming from feds for training so arts organizations build, maintain respectful workplaces

Aquilini-linked ranch fined $70,000 for storing cranes on farmland

Pitt Meadows council supporting application to Agricultural Land Commission

Minister calls out misogyny, but PM says too soon to talk motive in van attack

Alek Minassian is charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder

Decorated Canadian pairs skaters Duhamel and Radford officially retire

The Ontario duo took bronze in pairs at the Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea

Most Read