Rockford hospice uses robot dog to bring cheer to patients

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Northern Illinois Hospice frequently uses therapy animals to brighten patients’ days, but due to the pandemic, they’ve had to find creative ways to continue the service.

Enter “Ruffy,” the robotic Golden Retriever.

Ruffy is part of a pilot program that matches lifelike robots with patients, in hopes that they will lift their spirits as much as the real item.

“We know how important a pets can be in a life and in the quality of a life, so we want to be able to continue our pet programs as best we can,” said Volunteer Services Coordinator Sheila O’Leary.

Northern Illinois Hospice also has a real dog named Honey who visits patients during virtual visits online.


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