FORT MILL—For a year, furry friends have offered love and comfort through Pet Partners, a ministry based at St. Philip Neri Church. Each week 14 dogs and their owners visit nursing homes, assisted living facilities and senior centers in the area. They also work with autistic children.
“This ministry really runs itself,” said founder David Eggert, who makes his rounds with Reba, a German shepherd-retriever mix. “These dogs seem to have a sense of need when they go to a visit. They sense sickness, loneliness. Sometimes something as simple as a paw on someone’s lap offers comfort.”
The dog roster includes poodles, shih tzus, Labrador retrievers and mixed breeds. To participate, canines must have all their shots and a calm disposition, and should know basic obedience commands.
Teresa Coulter, a new volunteer, visited a local hospice with her two bichon frises, Alex and Tori.
“It’s absolutely the biggest blessing to be able to do this,” Coulter said. “You see the connection the dogs make with people. Sometimes animals can make a connection that people can’t.”
To learn more about Pet Partners or receive a visit, contact Eggert at (803) 548-6864.
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