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Piedmont Eastside Excited to Welcome Back Therapy Dogs

Snellville, Ga. (Sept. 7, 2022) — Piedmont Eastside Medical Center is proud to announce therapy dogs are back! 

“We look forward to resuming our Pet Therapy visits and we want to say thanks to all of our staff who help and support us with our Pet Therapy Services here at Piedmont Eastside,” said Laura Hannah, Volunteer Services Coordinator for Piedmont Eastside. “Our purpose is to make a positive difference in every life we touch and Pet Therapy is one of our unusual, but effective tools in helping our patients.” 

Sadly, in 2021, both of Piedmont Eastside’s Pet Therapy dogs, Loki and Amani, passed away within three months of one another. The hospital’s staff was devastated by the news, as these dogs brought so much happiness and joy to patients, visitors and most of all, staff, with their visits. They were Eastside’s personal angels.  

The hospital’s handlers are very experienced and have always known how to handle the dogs and make sure everyone was safe and understood their purpose.  The purpose of therapy dogs is to provide comfort and relieve stress to our patients. In the past, the dog handlers often would be seen educating patients and visitors about the dogs and their visits. Just the sight of a therapy dog entering a space can spread smiles. Piedmont seeks to create a safe, and positive environment for visitors and patients alike.

Loki and his handler, Elizabeth Mitchell, began conducting Pet Therapy rounds at Eastside in 2017, as did Amani and his handler, Rosie O’Neil. Before his passing, Loki was a very vocal dog who loved to “talk” in his own way to everyone and let you know that he was coming to visit. While Amani was a quiet, handsome guy, who loved everyone.

After some time off, both Rosie and Elizabeth have now adopted new dogs that they are currently training, in order to resume Pet Therapy services once again here at Piedmont Eastside. Both dogs were adopted through the local Gwinnet County Jail Dogs Program and the new therapy dogs -- Dunn and Kia -- will be ready to conduct therapy visits, tentatively, by the fall. Both dogs are variations of the Husky breed and love to visit and make people happy. 

For more information on Piedmont Eastside Hospital, visit


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