Second golden retriever adds to St. Peter's dog program

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Carroll College nursing students pet Mocha and Blue Bonnet, the facility dogs on staff at St. Peter’s Health, on Thursday at the hospital.

THOM BRIDGE, Independent Record Tyler Manning

A second golden retriever has joined the ranks of the St. Peter’s Health staff, doubling the capacity of the health system’s facility dog program. 

Mocha, a 3-year-old retriever, joined the staff approximately six weeks ago. She now works alongside and independently of Blue Bonnet, a 5-year-old golden retriever who has been at St. Peter’s since this spring.

Both dogs come from Canine Assistants, an Atlanta, Georgia-based nonprofit that raises and places many different retrievers with hospitals and patients. For 30 years, the organization has placed dogs through its hospital program or with individuals for things such as seizure detection. 

Though the organization doesn’t charge for the animals, it does request a donation for the hospital placements. According to St. Peter’s chaplain Kim Pepper, Mocha’s handler, the hospital, its employees and members of the community raised around $25,000 to donate when receiving

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