More funeral homes turning to therapy dogs for comfort

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y.(WKBW) - More and more funeral homes are now offering therapy dog services. 

Funeral directors say it’s a way to make grieving families and friends more comfortable. 

Timothy Gardner owns FE Brown Sons Funeral Home in Orchard Park. He has been offering therapy dog services to families in their time of sorrow since 2015, when the opioid crisis started. 

“People were nervous and they didn’t know what to say and certainly didn’t want to be here. I thought, well, this is an opportunity to help them,” Gardner said. 

Experts say therapy/comfort dogs have many benefits including lowering blood pressure and stress levels. 

Erie County SPCA is working with Paws For Love to provide nearly 80 therapy dogs at the calling hours for Buffalo Police Officer Craig Lehner. 

He’s the officer who died during an underwater training more than a week ago.

For more on therapy dogs visit https://www.yourspca.org

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