Portland, OR – There’s a new face in hospitals around Portland, and it just happens to be full of fur. Facility Dog Filbert was recently placed with Stacie Bianco, and this client/dog team is already making a pretty big difference to people in need.
Stacie has a passion for Assistance Dogs, having been a Puppy Raiser for various Assistance Dog organizations and the current chair of the Pacific Northwest chapter of the Dogs for Better Lives Regional Advisory Board. When she met Filbert, she knew he was the perfect partner to bring to her volunteer work as a Certified Animal-Assisted Intervention Specialist at local hospitals and working with children with disabilities.
Filbert’s demeanor is calming, which helps to reduce fear and anxiety in a variety of settings. She partners with Child Life Specialists, Nurses, Physical and Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, and Certified Brain Injury Specialists working with children and adults with disabilities and during hospitalization. Together they visit local hospitals and other various community organizations and events. You can follow along with Stacie and Filbert’s visits in the community on their Instagram page, @FacilityDogFilbert.
“He transforms the room. Filbert has such a sweet-natured demeanor that brings a sense of calm wherever he goes. He has an exceptional ability to seamlessly transition from napping on a patient’s hospital bed to facilitating therapeutic play or offering encouragement and support during physical, occupational, or speech therapy. Filbert offers a bridge to connecting with others and just loves being wherever people are. He is the perfect partner and teammate, creating a positive light wherever he goes,” said Stacie. “If you see Filbert in the hallway at a local hospital, feel free to say hello. He can’t wait to meet you!”
Facility Dogs are trained to do specific, skilled tasks and placed with working professionals or volunteers to help support them in their work with vulnerable populations and individuals with disabilities (physical, mental, cognitive, sensory, or developmental). The dog accompanies the professional to work every day and is trained to interact in various ways with patients, clients, and students to provide a needed focus or distraction, motivation, and calming to enhance treatment, learning, and development.
“We can’t wait to see all the great things Filbert does with Stacie at hospitals and community organizations in Portland. The bond the two share is clear to everyone who meets them, and it’s great to see Filbert already providing so much support to the children and adults alike,” said Trish Welch, VP of Operations at Dogs for Better Lives.
Thanks to donor support, Dogs for Better Lives places professionally trained Assistance Dogs at absolutely no cost to the people they help, providing safety, independence, and companionship. 100% of every donation goes toward programmatic expenses. Make a gift to support these amazing dogs here.
Would your facility benefit from a Facility Dog? Visit our Facility Dog page for more information and an application.