Therapy Dogs

Therapy dog volunteers offer our patients a much-needed distraction from treatment-related worries. It’s always OK to walk right up to the dogs and say hello!
If you own a dog, you understand the joys of canine companionship. But did you know that your four-legged friend could hold the power to heal? Research shows that pet therapy dogs help cancer patients cope with treatment, manage side effects and improve quality of life.
For nearly four years, a statue bearing the likeness of a beloved Roswell Park volunteer has welcomed visitors to our Kaminski Park and Gardens, located outside the main hospital. Monty, Roswell Park’s first-ever therapy dog, serves as a reminder of the compassionate power of animals, now memorialized in the form of a custom statue.

Although Porsche never went to medical school, she sure knows how to make cancer patients and their families feel better. Porsche, a 6-year-old Goldendoodle, is a new face at Roswell Park. Roswell’s furry friend visits a few times a month as part of the Institute’s Pet Therapy Program, made possible in part by generous donations. During her visits, Porsche trots around the hospital, calmly visiting anyone in need of a pick-me-up, providing unconditional love and a wag of her tail.

Pet Therapy dog, Sierra, and her owners Dave and Dobie Marowski, volunteer at Roswell Park twice a month to visit with patients and families.

A little over six years ago, Sandra Szopinski caught a segment on the news featuring Roswell Park's first therapy dog, Monte. At the time, Sandra's eight-year-old golden doodle, Rorie, had already passed therapy dog testing. After seeing the news report, Sandra instantly felt compelled to call Roswell Park to find out more about our Pet Therapy Program.

Tara Jane and I have been volunteering in the Pet Therapy Program at Roswell Park for five years. We began this journey in memory of my late husband John.