Norton Healthcare’s & Norton Children’s Facility Dog Program

The Heel, Dog, Heal facility dog program at Norton Healthcare and Norton Children’s provides highly trained dogs and handlers to give 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.

The facility dogs and their handlers at Norton Healthcare and Norton Children’s 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:

Don’t be surprised to see our four-legged friends roaming around our Norton Healthcare and Norton Children’s facilities–– 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 11 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

Echo

  • Born: July 2019
  • Weight: 73 pounds
  • Fun fact: Can play basketball and wave hello

Gavin

  • Born: September 2019
  • Weight: 83 pounds
  • Fun fact: Favorite food is fruit — berries, watermelon, apples and bananas

Henry

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

Juno

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

Luna

  • Born: March 2021
  • Weight: 60 pounds
  • Fun fact: Can play musical instruments and paint

Pepper

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

Usher

  • Born: October 2017
  • Weight: 72 pounds
  • Fun fact: Is a pro-level napper

Yarie

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

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.”

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