Canine Visitation a Pet Program for VHU Residents - River Valley Obedience and Field Trail Club receives Citation Award

    MONCTON, NB, Oct. 18 /CNW Telbec/ - Bringing joy and interaction to
veterans through a dog visitation therapy program is why the River Valley
Obedience and Field Trail Club is being bestowed with a 2007 Citation Award by
the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) and the New
Brunswick Association of Occupational Therapists (NBAOT). The Award, to be
presented on Friday, October 19 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Moncton recognizes
the significant contribution of an agency, program or individual to the health
and well-being of Canadians.
    For over 15 years, the occupational therapy service at the Veterans'
Health Unit (VHU), a 47 bed, long-term care facility in Fredericton, NB, have
participated in a pet-facilitated therapy program. A longstanding contributor
to this program has been the River Valley Obedience and Field Trail Club, who
have participated in monthly visits to the Unit for over ten years. The
program allows VHU residents an opportunity to interact with or observe a
variety of dogs. The success of the program is evident as it has the highest
participation rate of any program at the VHU.

    Formed in 1958, the RVO Club is a non-profit organization which consists
of over 75 dog enthusiasts who love to spend time with their canine companions
and other dog lovers. Established first and foremost as a dog obedience club,
30 years later the Club introduced the Hospital Visitation program. The
program has expanded to include monthly visits by over 20 volunteers and their
temperament-tested dogs to seven area health care facilities.

    The CAOT Citation Awards are presented annually in collaboration with
provincial/ territorial occupational therapy associations and are awarded to
organizations or individuals outside of the occupational therapy profession
who support health care or other related programs. The Awards are presented in
proximity to the month of October when occupational therapists celebrate
National Occupational Therapy Month. The OT Month theme of "Yes I can!"
communicates that all people can and should participate in their desired
activities, regardless of age or ability.

    Occupational therapy is a health profession concerned with promoting
health and well-being through occupation. Occupation refers to everything that
people do during the course of everyday life. The primary goal of occupational
therapy is to enable people to participate in the occupations which give
meaning and purpose to their lives.

    The New Brunswick Association of Occupational Therapists will present the
River Valley Obedience and Field Trail Club with the award on Friday, October
19, 2007 at 1:00 pm at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Moncton, 1005 Main Street.

    For more information on occupational therapy, visit To find
an occupational therapist in your community, visit and click on
OT Finder.

For further information:

For further information: Erica Lyle, Communications Coordinator,
Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists, (800) 434-2268, ext. 225,; Anthony Knight, Executive Director, New Brunswick
Association of Occupational Therapists, (506) 458-1001,; River
Valley Obedience and Field Trail Club Inc., (506) 444-8874,

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Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists

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