ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Patients at Mercyhealth’s Javon Bea Riverside hospital received special visitors on Halloween as therapy dogs took a room-to-room tour.

The licensed therapy dogs are part of Mercyhealth’s “Loving Tails” program, and all of the dogs were dressed in costumes to celebrate the holiday.

Dog owner Greta Alfano says she enjoys watching her dog, Biscotti, interact with patients and staff.

“It helps the patients with their stress level, their anxiety. It helps lower their blood pressure and it definitely just brings a smile to the patient and just lets them forget their problems if they’ve got any. They work with people and families during happy times and also during sad times,” Alfano said.

“Loving Tails” is always seeking new volunteers.