Therapy Dog Helps Girl Through Cancer Treatments -

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Therapy Dog Helps Girl Through Cancer Treatments

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Davis, CA- Man's best friend is teaming up with a California hospital for a good cause by helping cancer patients through their treatment.

4-year-old Zoey Vasquez is one of those patients the therapy dogs are helping. The brave little girl is undergoing chemotherapy at UC Davis Medical Center.

Zoey was diagnosed with a form of kidney cancer, and is just starting treatment.

By her side is Angus, a therapy dog, who is part of a study on the benefits of pet therapy. The study is being conducted to see how the dogs effect their young patients while at the hospital.

So far, Zoey says Angus makes her happy and her mother, Corina Vasquez, says it's a good distraction.

"It makes her feel better because she's going through a lot right now,"said Vasquez.

The kids who get the dogs, they love them, they’re happy. And Angus is such a happy dog,” said Melinda Beckham, a charge nurse for UC Davis Pediatrics. "To help bring their stress level down for sometimes really scary procedures."

Zoey also loves to give Angus hugs when she sees him.

"She didn't want to come in because she thought he wasn't here. She said I don't want to go in if Angus isn't here," said Vasquez."Something to look forward to so she won't be so sad that there's going to be tubes going through her."

Her mother says it makes Zoey’s heart happy, so hopefully, she will get better faster because of Angus.

The UC Davis Medical Center found out about the program through the college's vet program.

They’re hoping pet therapy can be offered for all their patients.

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