Therapy dog puts smiles on faces at Vaughan

Published 11:04 pm Friday, May 4, 2018

By Adam Dodson | The Selma Times-Journal

The patients and employees of Vaughan Regional Medical Center have a new four-legged friend to help remedy stress and pain. Rotten Wiler, a one-year old Rotweiler and member of “K9’s for Christ,” has made her presence known throughout the hospital.

She was found as a stray in Orville by Wannabe Rescued before being put into the training program at Sky Hill to earn her American Kennel Club canine good citizenship certificate, making her a qualified therapy dog.

Email newsletter signup

According to Rotten’s supervisor, Jennifer Tolbert of Wannabe Rescued, Rotten has gone to areas all over Dallas County, including nursing homes, mental health centers and hospitals.

Officially, she helps patients with pain management related to the opioid crisis in Alabama and throughout America. Additionally, she provides stress relief for employees and cheers up patients.

“It is nice to see her brighten people’s days,” Tolbert said.

“She makes people smile and minds her own business. If someone is not a dog person, she is not going to bother them.”

Although it is only her second day at Vaughan, Tolbert said Rotten has fit right in with everyone at the hospital.

Soon, she will have a set schedule where she will go and see patients. Doctors will also be able to make an appointment with Rotten if they feel a certain patient could use additional comfort.

Being a stray with a tough beginning, Tolbert believes it makes sense for Rotten to be helping out people going through tough times as well. Found in the dump, it was later discovered that she had a collapsed lung, which needed attention.

After originally being given a small window of life expectancy, Rotten fought through it.

Despite some scar tissue on her lungs, Tolbert said Rotten is expected to live a mostly normal life style.

Not only has she become a favorite at the hospital, but she is also adored by people all over Dallas County.

“She has sort of become a mascot for Wannabe Rescued. She is a hit on Facebook now. If we don’t update what she is doing, people will reach out and ask what is going on,” Tolbert said.

For more information about Wannabe Rescued, reach out to their Facebook at “Wannabe Rescued.”

For more information about the training program for Canine Good Citizen through Sky Hill Animal Society, reach out to Lynn Sanders at (334) 431-0476.