What can brighten the day of a hospice patient with no one to visit them or a person going through chemotherapy? With a cold nose and furry smile, the Hawaiian Humane Society’s Joy Ambassadors help to spread cheer as part of the pet visitation program. Volunteers and their pets visit about 50 hospitals, care homes and rehabilitation centers to greet the residents.

One of those special pets is Athena, who found a new family with long-time volunteer Ron. Now they are an active part of the Society’s Joy Ambassador team. Programs such as pet visitation help draw pet owners and their animals closer, while helping others enjoy the human-animal bond.

For many people, the most endearing friends are their animal companions. Pets help with anxiety, lower blood pressure and improve a person’s mood. The touch of an animal can bring great comfort. In the last year, Joy Ambassadors teams touched the lives of more than 15,000 people.

For information in becoming a pet visitation volunteer, call Jamie Langlois at 356-2222 or visit HawaiianHumane.org.

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