One Hospital's Therapy Dog Gets Patients in the Holiday Spirit

Santa's little helper is named Sancho.

ByJOI-MARIE MCKENZIE
December 12, 2016, 6:09 PM

— -- One hospital's therapy dog is helping patients remain cheerful during the most wonderful time of the year.

His name is Sancho and he's a 10-year-old Jack Russell terrier.

Sancho is one of two therapy dogs at San Gabriel Valley Medical Center in California.

"We have a pet therapy program at the hospital because we know that pets can help reduce anxiety and bring comfort to patients and their loves ones as well as our staff," hospital spokeswoman Eileen Diamond told ABC News.

PHOTO: Sancho, a 10-year-old Jack Russell terrier, helps spread holiday cheer to patients at San Gabriel Valley Medical Center in California.
Sancho, a 10-year-old Jack Russell terrier, helps spread holiday cheer to patients at San Gabriel Valley Medical Center in California.
Courtesy San Gabriel Valley Medical Center

Diamond added that Sancho has been on the job, spreading happiness and smiles, for two years. His owner, who asked not to be identified, brings him to the hospital on a weekly basis.

After asking if a patient would like a visit from Sancho, or the hospital's other dog named Scotty, Sancho comes into the patient's room for any amount of time. Then he moves on to the next patient, after practicing good hygiene, of course.

"As all hospital employees and volunteers have to have an ID badge, Sancho also has an ID badge that he wears all the time when he's in the hospital," Diamond said.

She continued, "We are delighted to have him."

Sancho got the internet's attention after an employee's daughter tweeted out photos of the terrier on the job. The pics have been retweeted nearly 8,000 times and have been liked more than 11,000 times.

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