Sign In

Therapy Dog Cares For Frontline Workers

May 13, 2020

With all the stress from the coronavirus outbreak, a therapy dog in Tennessee  is providing much-needed care to frontline workers.

Canines for Christ Chaplain Ron Leonard and Molly, his rescue dog who has been on 4,900 visits over the last seven years, are delivering cookies to police officers in Nashville on Tuesday. “Personally, during these challenging days of COVID-19, it has been a joy and privilege to make a difference to law enforcement, first responders, and health care workers,” Leonard told Fox News. The duo has been delivering free Buffalo Wild Wings and pizza since the shutdowns began. They recently went to Tristar Summit Medical Center in Hermitage with pizza and honored the doctors and nurses, FOX 17 reported. When Leonard shows up with Molly, he calls it the “ministry of presence” and uses a “vocabulary of silence” just being with those on the frontlines. A lot of healthcare workers and police officers like to pet the dog and get that stress off and letting them know they matter,” he said. Leonard is a retired Army National Guard and U.S. Navy cook who went into ministry when his military service ended. He and his wife, Marilyn, adopted Molly when she was just six weeks old after being left to die in freezing weather alongside her mom. When he discovered Canines for Christ, a ministry that now has 900 volunteers and over 1,000 dogs across the nation, he said, “little did we know she would become a hero to so many.”

Last year, the Murfreesboro Police Department thanked them for visiting the 9-1-1 dispatchers, whom Leonard calls “invisible heroes,” after the department lost one of their officers. Leonard also recently joined the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations as a volunteer chaplain and he and Molly have been asked to help comfort families of missing children with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

From cookies to hugs and just being there, Leonard and Molly have seen countless smiles, tears, and comfort.

“If you don’t think you can minister,” Leonard said, “then you’ve got to think outside the box.”

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Puppy Cams

    A nonprofit is providing an unusual form of therapy for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic – puppy cams! “You spend five minutes with a puppy and try not to smile,” said registered nurse Robin Lingg Lagrone. Lingg Lagrone says watching little furballs wag their tails and prance on their paws helps […]

    Read more

    Pet Committee

    When Moore County’s school doors were abruptly closed earlier in 2020, two- and four-legged volunteers from the Moore County Citizens’ Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC) were in their 12th year of presenting a six-session Pet Responsibility Education Program for fourth-graders. The PRC quickly shifted gears and placed its program materials online as part of a home […]

    Read more

    The Right Rescue Dog

    If your New Year’s resolution is to add a canine family member, good for you. Somewhere out there is the perfect puppy or adult dog for your family. You have a lot of things to think about when you begin to look for that new family member, puppy or dog? Large or small? Purebred or […]

    Read more