This is Duke Ellington Morris. Named after a jazz legend, he has brought so much joy to critically ill patients at a UCSF Medical Center, in California.
Duke is part of a new initiative between the SPCA and the hospital, known as the animal-assisted therapy program. He visits ill patients, and reduces their stress, helps them forget their current issues, and overall brings smiles too all patients’ faces.
This new program Duke is a part of, allows shelter pets to visit critically ill patients to help reduce blood pressure, pain, stress, anxiety, and depression.
Before the special visits, the patients are screened to make sure they’re in a condition where they can have a pleasurable visit.
The hospital explains, “Our staff screens for allergies before the cat visits, as well as taking precautions with hygiene etc. In addition, the SPCA’s animal-assisted therapy program has specific grooming guidelines.”
The hospital said: “Duke brings furry snuggles and joy to critically ill patients in our intensive care unit! Our staff thinks he’s pretty “purr”-fect too!”
A video of patients petting Duke was shared on the hospital’s Facebook page, and quickly was viewed over ten million times! During Duke’s hospital visit, he was pushed around on a cart to greet a few patients in need of some love.
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