Therapy dogs visit patients and staff at M&T Banking Center vaccination site in final week of operations – CBS Baltimore

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) – After a five-month period that has seen a quarter of a million people get vaccinated against Covid-19, the gates to the M&T Bank stadium vaccination site will be closed until football season.

However, on Tuesday, therapy dogs were brought in to boost the morale of patients and staff. Loki is a therapy dog ​​at UMMC. She and her mother, Caroline Benzel, donated healing kits to frontline staff during the worst days.

Benzel still remembers when she had the dog that lifted the spirits of thousands of people. “I called them up jokingly asking if they ever wanted to give one and she said, ‘Perfect, Caroline. You won’t spoil this.

Benzel acquired Loki the next day, the same day she was accepted into medical school at the University of Maryland.

“I think dogs are just something that brings to mind the people around the house who may have been raised with animals. It’s heartwarming and the dogs just have this unconditional love, ”she said.

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Hope has worked with the 175th Maryland Air National Guard Wing since she was 14 weeks old. In her spare time, she loves to massage her head.

Captain Brandon Williams found therapy dog ​​Lobo on the streets of Texas. It helps relax people who are afraid of needles during vaccinations.

“I turned him into a therapy dog ​​because I’m actually a social worker,” Williams said. “I was training for this and took him to some of the sites where I was, homeless shelters and the Wounded Warrior program as well.”

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has stated that interaction with animals can reduce stress in humans. The vaccination site was managed by four partners, including the University of Maryland Medical System and the Department of Health.

Belly rubs and smiles made this day go by faster and with these doors closing we’re even more panting for Baltimore to rise again.

“I wanted to be there in all aspects and if that meant coming during my off hours with my dog ​​to make someone feel better because it’s the only thing that could help them then I wanted to be that person. “, added Benzel.

The site will hold a closing ceremony Thursday evening before closing the site the next day. Their hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

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Officials told WJZ that the whole trip was a mission well done.


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