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Therapy cats are purr-fect visitors for Salem Hospital patients

Aug 04, 2014

A Salem Hospital volunteer is making a big impact for patients, who welcome a visit by one of his four-legged feline friends.

George Piter volunteers weekly at the hospital and brings with him one of his four therapy cats. Piter discovered the hospital provided the perfect setting where his cats could make a big difference—by helping patients in ways humans cannot.

“The cats seem to sense the situation. I wish I could really see what goes on in their heads,” said Piter. “They just do whatever they can to try to make patients relax.”

The hospital requires therapy cats to get certified by going through basic training from a reputable outside organization. Staff from Salem Hospital’s volunteer services department then interviews the handlers and pets, and tests them on-site to determine their readiness to become volunteers.

Salem Health produced a short video about Piter and his therapy cats. The video is available for viewing online on YouTube:

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