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Bob Molenda and his 3-year-old yellow lab, Finnegan, regularly volunteer for the dog therapy programs at Westfields and Hudson Hospital. The pair can often be found strolling the hallways, visiting with patients or shooting the breeze with staff members. (Photo by Jenny Hudalla)

All paws on deck

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Since February 2009, the staff at Westfields Hospital has gained three more pairs of helping hands — and paws.

Every month, three devoted dogs and their handlers volunteer as part of the hospital's dog therapy program, which was launched by social worker and dog-lover Suzanne Ballantyne.

"The therapy program has been a wonderful asset to Westfields," Ballantyne said. "Our handlers and dogs are exceptional. They brighten the whole mood and atmosphere of the hospital."

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Jenny Hudalla
A senior at Bethel University, Jenny Hudalla is pursuing degrees in journalism, Spanish and reconciliation studies. Having graduated from New Richmond High School in 2011, she served as editor-in-chief of the Tiger Rag before taking a job as editor-in-chief of Bethel's student newspaper, The Clarion. After completing her internship with the New Richmond News, Hudalla plans to move on to a career in social justice.
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