Cape Coral Adopts A Greyhound, Gets A Resident Pet Therapist

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Jacob is a retired racing greyhound.  And while Florida is known as an oasis and “escape” for many recent retirees, Jacob took another path.  Recently, he embarked upon his second career as a pet therapist.

Cape Coral Area Director, Leslie Steiner, stated,  “It is widely accepted that rescue pets make excellent therapy dogs.  They have overcome hardships and have special needs themselves.  So, it seemed like a “good fit”  and it was one of the key factors that led us to Greyhound Advancement Centerlast year when we started our search for a “pet therapist.”

The young men living in United Cerebral Palsy of Southwest Florida’s Cape Coral group home could not be happier!  Jacob also makes his rounds at the Cape Coral Adult Day Training Center each week.  Jacob is accompanied in his rounds by Shannon Duffy- QIDP and Leah Watson.

Both UCP trainers attended Jacob’s “graduation” from the inmate training program in Sarasota on June 14th. They were able to see him and learn his commands.  “Jacob can do almost anything including things like pushing a button to open an automatic door and other typical “service pet assistance tasks, ” added Ms. Duffy.   That being said and not too surprisingly, Jacob’s favorite “job” is being petted.  The healing partnership provides invaluable physical and emotional therapy.  Pets like Jacob help to lower blood pressure, reduces anxiety, mitigate inappropriate behavior as well as help to improve motor skills and acquire life skills.  Jacob has a lot to do – though admittedly, he may not always look like it.

Needless to say, Jacob is already a well-loved member of the Cape Coral family.  In fact, housemate Brian refers to Jacob as “his son” and likes when Jacob rests at his feet — which is also a favorite spot for Jacob.   Proud-papa Brian is already making plans to host and celebrate Jacob’s  third birthday, in less than a month, on July 22nd.  Happy {early} birthday Jacob!!