Pets visit caregivers at UT Health East Texas

UT Pets

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Caregivers at UT Health East Texas have been working day in and day out throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and Thursday afternoon, many were surprised by dogs to help lift their spirits.

KLTV’s Dante Nuñez caught up with some of the nurses as they hung out with the dogs.

For the first time since the pandemic began affecting East Texas back in March, healthcare workers haven’t seen the furry four-legged friends that they’re used to seeing but today they say they were ecstatic for this visit.

“I mean who doesn’t love animals and I guarantee you that there is nobody thinking about work as they pet these animals,” John O’Brien, UT Health East Texas nurse manager said.

O’Brien said some nurses typically work 12-hour shifts and this event is much needed.

“It makes you forget. That young lady right there is just focusing on the dog and that’s the break they need and we appreciate them bringing this to us.”

Therapet has been involved in the community for 26 years and one of the founding volunteers, Julie Miller, said it feels good to bring joy to these nurses.

“We knew the hospital workers really needed the support especially right now as we’re kind of surging here in the Smith County area. There’s a lot of people getting sick and it’s just stressful and we know it’s stressful for them so we wanted to do something to give back to them.”

O’Brien said these events are special to him and his coworkers.

“I’ve been in nursing for 27 years and I’ve never seen a bad day when the dogs come or in my case, a mini horse.”

Therapet brought out five dogs during Thursday’s visit.

Copyright 2020 KLTV. All rights reserved.