Facility Dog Program | Norton Healthcare Louisville, Ky.

Norton Healthcare Facility Dog Program

Norton Healthcare’s Heel, Dog, Heal facility dog program provides highly trained dogs and handlers to provide comfort and support to patients and families during their time of need.

What Is a Facility Dog?

Facility dogs are specially trained, employed staff members who partner with a handler to work in a health care or educational setting.

Norton Healthcare’s facility dogs and their handlers received extensive and specialized training in order to partner together to provide comfort and support to patients and families.

Why Offer Facility Dogs?

Research shows that full-time, trained facility dogs can motivate a patient to be more mobile, lend a paw during distressing or painful procedures, encourage socialization and offer a calming presence during episodes of pain and/or anxiety. Our special dogs also assist in creating an environment that offers unconditional love and acceptance.

Who Can Visit With a Facility Dog?

In order to receive a facility dog visit, a patient must:

  • Have a treatment goal the facility dog can assist with meeting
  • Need help coping before, during or after a procedure
  • Have an extended hospital stay
  • Not be in isolation

If a facility dog isn’t able to visit a patient, don’t be surprised to see our four-legged friends roaming around our Norton Healthcare facilities –– adult and pediatric –– or even heading to meetings.

Follow our facility dogs on social media at #HeelDogHeal.

Meet the Heel, Dog, Heal Facility Dog Team

Norton Healthcare employs nine facility dogs to support our adult and pediatric patients.

Doc

  • Born: March 2016
  • Weight: 22 pounds
  • Fun fact: Favorite toy is his teddy bear

Dunkin

  • Born: Dec. 2018
  • Weight: 80 pounds
  • Fun fact: Loves sticks and to sit in laps

Henry

  • Born: July 2014
  • Weight: 75 pounds
  • Fun fact: Carries lunchbox to work each morning

Holly

  • Born: February 2016
  • Weight: 35 pounds
  • Fun fact: Howls when she is excited

Juno

  • Born: April 2015
  • Weight: 66 pounds
  • Fun fact: Loves to carry a stuffed animal in her mouth

Pepper

  • Born: April 2016
  • Weight: 73 pounds
  • Fun fact: When not working, likes to dig holes

Yarie

  • Born: January 2018
  • Weight: 58 pounds
  • Fun fact: Nickname is Yar Yar

Zeke

  • Born: May 2018
  • Weight: 80
  • Fun fact: Loves to play with other dogs

Zeus

  • Born: May 2018
  • Weight: 74 pounds
  • Fun fact: Looks for any and all ways to get belly rubs

How to Support the Heel, Dog, Heal Program

The Heel, Dog, Heal program is solely funded by the generous donations of community members through the Norton Healthcare Foundation and Norton Children’s Hospital Foundation. If you would like to support the program click the “Give Now” button and select “Facility Dog Program.”

  • Special gift from the family of Edie Nixon
  • Special gift from the family of Barbara “Barbie” Meyers
Facility Dog Program

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