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Our Pets Featured
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Pet Therapy

Here at Silver Cross, our pet therapy dogs bring smiles to everyone they encounter. If you or someone you know is hospitalized, you can request a visit from one of our furry friends! The healing effects of a wagging tail are well-documented. Research shows a visit from a friendly pup can reduce pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue. Even Florence Nightingale recommended “a small pet animal” as an “excellent companion for the sick.”

Request a Visit

Silver Cross currently has several dog/handler teams that visit our patients in the hospital. If you’re interested in a dose of puppy love during your stay, please contact (815) 300-7975. Our teams also visit organizations and schools in the community with special needs.

Our Pet Therapy Team

Meet some of our friendly dogs:


Full Name: Asta

Owners: Jerry and Terry Giorgi

Breed: Wire Hair Fox Terrier

Birthday: April 16, 2015

Background: Asta lives on a farm in Frankfort with her brother, Ranger, and several other animals. A very busy girl, Asta’s made more than 200 visits to Silver Cross, nursing homes, and special recreation centers. She and her brother compete in Barn Hunt competitions and have received many awards. But what Asta loves most of all is meeting people, giving kisses and receiving hugs.

Colleen Renee

Full Name: Colleen Renee

Owners: Mark H. Pelech

Breed: AKC Registered Golden Retriever

Birthday: November 27, 2017

Likes: Colleen is a typical Golden Retriever—she loves people of all ages and approaches everyone with unbridled enthusiasm and a wagging tail that seems to be in perpetual motion. She enjoys having her ears rubbed and chin scratched but relishes receiving attention of any kind. Retrieving items and scavenging for food are her passions!

Background: Colleen was bred at Nitro Golden Retrievers Kennel in Little Valley, New York. Nitro Goldens owner\breeder is a law enforcement professional that has developed a line of champion Goldens both in the U.S. and Canada that serve as K9 Police and Search and Rescue dogs.

Colleen was bred and trained to be a therapy dog and has been living with her owner Mark and two rescued Shiba Inus since she was 8 weeks old. She passed her TDI (Therapy Dogs International) test 10 days after her 1st birthday. She is scheduled to take the AKC CGC (Canine Good Citizen) and CGC-Urban tests.

While at the hospital, Colleen spends much of her time in the main lobby by the information desk. You won’t miss her because her enthusiasm for people will find you.


Full Name: Sterling Blue Comet

Owners: Jerry and Maria Weber

Breed: Siberian Husky

Birthday: February 19, 2012

Background: Her Family always had cats, so they needed guidance on how to raise a well-rounded dog. Comet went to obedience classes at 10 weeks old and had her CGC at 7 months. She received her TDI Certification after her first birthday. Comet loves interacting with people and thinks everyone is her best friend. She still takes both obedience and agility classes and shares her family with three cats.

DaisyFull Name: Daisy

Owner: Bonnie Groeneveld

Breed: Snoodle (Schnauzer/Poodle)

Birthday: April 17, 2013

Background: Daisy chose her human family by being a fuzzy fur ball. She loves having her chin rubbed and being around people. She is very smart and learns quickly. Pleasing those around her is her biggest asset. She enjoys playing with the three large Labradoodle dogs that come to visit. She love exploring her yard and sniffing for new animals.


Full Name: Elsa

Breed: Labrador Retriever

Birthday: March, 2007

Background: Elsa was a rescue pup with a lot of potential! As her family quickly discovered, Elsa’s affectionate, gentle nature was matched only by her desire to learn and please. She breezed through all levels of dog training, earning her Canine Good Citizen Award and Therapy Dogs International Certificate. In 2016, Elsa began working at Joliet Junior College, helping ease student stress levels before exams. In January 2017, she brought her sunny disposition to Silver Cross. She’s very social and loves meeting people, especially kids. Elsa also enjoys long walks, going "bye-bye" in the car, playing with her cousin Delilah and most of all, snuggle time!


Full Name: Kato

Owner: John Sass

Breed: German Shepherd

Birthday: March 11, 2012

Background: Kato is a loving, playful and intelligent pure-bred German Shepherd. He received his therapy dog certification from Therapy Dog International and has also received the AKC Canine Good Citizen Certificate. Kato loves to play fetch, catch and, most of all, Frisbee. He catches the Frisbee on the fly, and most recently, can catch a second Frisbee without dropping the one already in his mouth. Kato is a very social dog and greatly enjoys participating in the Therapy Dog program at Silver Cross Hospital.


Full Name: Raspberry Woods Lucy Loo (Lucy)

Owner: Celene Fitzgerald

Breed: AKC Registered Standard Poodle

Birthday: November 23, 2015

Background: Lucy has been in obedience training for two years and earned her Canine Good Citizen Award in 2016. She received her Therapy Dogs International Certification in May 2017. Lucy is an extremely gentle and caring dog. She began visiting at Silver Cross Hospital in July 2017. She is loving all the attention and hugs she receives and gives all her love in return. Lucy's very favorite thing to do is swim, but she also likes to chase squirrels, play fetch and can catch the ball on the fly. She loves playing with the 11 young grandchildren and is quite accomplished at playing hide and seek. I hope and feel that she brings a sense of peace and joy to everyone she meets.


Full Name: Ranger

Breed: Wire Hair Fox Terrier

Owners: Jerry and Terry Giorgi

Birthday: December 2015

Background: Ranger has received Therapy Dog International’s highest award – over 500 visits! Ranger lives on a farm in Frankfort with his sister, Asta. He loves coming to Silver Cross and meeting employees, patients and visitors. When’s he’s not “rounding” at the hospital, Ranger enjoys chasing the chickens or anything that runs from him, competing in Barn Hunt events, and sleeping with Mom, Dad and Asta.


Full Name: Summer

Breed: Labrador Retriever

Owner: Ray Garritano

Background: Summer is a Labrador Retriever who is pure white. At thirteen months of age, she earned her Canine Good Citizen, Canine Good Citizen Advanced, and Therapy Dogs International (TDI) Certifications. Her owner, Ray Garritano and Summer trained together for eight months for Summer to garner those certificates. Summer loves everyone and could play for hours with children. Every day is a happy day for her. Summer has a sister named Molly who is a four-year-old Chihuahua who has her Canine Good Citizen Certification. Summer and Molly play well together because, counter to general belief, Molly also loves everyone, too! Summer would love to say hello to you at Silver Cross Hospital. You cannot miss her due to her bright white and soft as silk coat.


Full Name: Tuxedo

Owners: Elice and Brian DeRoos

Breed: Shih Tzu Poodle (ShihPoo)

Birthday: March 2012

Background: Tux received his Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog International Certification in 2016. In addition to visiting Silver Cross, he enjoys going to Lincolnway Special Recreation Center. When he isn't busy with therapy work, Tux loves doing agility and playing with little sister Breeze. Breeze is a very rambunctious 2-year old that keeps Tux on his toes!
Fun Fact: Tuxedo was jet black with a white chest and paws when he was born (hence his name). He went gray after just three months and goes by Tux now.

Make an Appointment

To schedule a visit from one of our Pet Therapy dogs, please call (815) 300-7975.

Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care. These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.