New staff member at Montefiore helping kids smile one bark at a time

The black Labrador works alongside a child-life specialist to help patients' mental health.

Valerie Ryan and Adolfo Carrion

Apr 3, 2024, 10:18 PM

Updated 20 days ago

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One of the newest members of Montefiore Children’s Hospital is an adorable dog putting a smile on the faces of patients.
The two-year-old black Labrador retriever mix is the hospital’s newest facility dog named Polly. She works with senior child-life specialist Katy Dessick, who says Polly helps her keep the little ones at ease.
“She differs a little bit from a service dog,” said Dessick. “She’s using the skills that she knows in order to help work with patients… Polly has a very mellow personality… it helps patients, it helps families, it helps staff.”
Polly recently has worked with two kids, 4-year-old Christopher and 6-year-old Hansel. Their father says Polly helps them all cope.


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