SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — Scripps Health celebrated its "Best in Show" on Tuesday honoring the therapy dogs that bring comfort to the hospital's patients and their families.
Blue ribbons were given out during National Volunteer Week to recognize therapy dogs and their owners.
"Last year, we contributed about 77,000 hours of service to our organization, just in our K9 therapy program," said Jill Newell, manager of volunteer services.
She says the impact the pups can have on a patient is remarkable.
"They love the opportunity to have unconditional love," said Newell.
"Everybody loves Kora," said therapy dog owner Lisa Matthews. "We have business cards for her. She loves her job."
While she appreciates the thanks, Matthews said nothing is more rewarding than seeing the difference a therapy dog can make.
"There were a couple of patients on the same floor, they were punching and not speaking very well to the doctors and nurses, and so I asked, 'Can I help?' said Matthews. "And when I walked in with Kora, they thought that she was their own dog, and they smiled, and then they let the staff help them out.
"Once that happens and you know what good you can do. It makes you want to come back and do more."