WGVU Morning Show – Therapy Dogs in Addiction Treatment

therapy dog in addiction treatment

In memory of Santino – Sanford’s beloved therapy dog.

Sanford Director of HR and New Initiatives, Jacqueline Green Campbell, might not seem like the right person to interview about therapy dogs. But, her life before Sanford included years as a veterinary technician. And recently, when Sanford’s beloved therapy dog and pet, Santino, passed away, Jacq wrote the eulogy. Her letter about Santino’s life garnered thousands of responses from all over the country.


And the response solidified what we have always known at Sanford. Animals can have a profound impact on outcomes in addiction treatment and recovery. So, who better than Jacq to sit down (virtually) with Shelley Irwin from the WGVU Morning show and talk pets in treatment? Jacq and Shelley discuss the benefits of pets in telehealth. And how a therapy dog can open up an otherwise unresponsive client.


When a therapy dog is in a group, it really changes the whole dynamic. Pets are attuned to our emotions, especially those trained for therapy…they will seek out the person who needs them the most. Maybe it is someone who is having trouble opening up, or has trauma they are trying to work through. A big paw on a lap helps people feel at ease while doing the hard work…opening up room for a life in recovery.

Jacqueline Green Campbell, Sanford Director of HR and New Initiatives


For the Complete Interview Click Below:





Sanford Behavioral Health is a residential and outpatient facility located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Sanford offers excellence in evidence-based practice models in a home-like, restorative setting. Our clinicians, supported by our medical team, focus on resolving the underlying issues that often cause substance use, such as trauma, unhealthy relationships, co-occurring disorders and isolation. Programs include both in-person and telehealth: residential, day programs, intensive outpatient, outpatient, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), education and relapse prevention classes, one-on-one and family therapy, and alumni and family support groups. At Sanford, we want to inspire you to find your inner grit, rekindle your interests and engage your passion.