Children's Therapy Services welcomes a new team member

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Children's Therapy Services has a new motto: What would Tito do?

Caleb and Tito take a swing at a new program.

This four-legged pup is part of the new Animal Assisted Therapy Program.

"He has his K-9 good citizen certification, so he had to pass ten steps in this test. So he was formally tested, and so he passed that and as soon as that happened, we were able to start to bring him into the clinic," says Occupational Therapist Alexa Martel

Many of the young patients benefit from having Tito around -- including Caleb.

"It's really touching to be able to see what an impact even just an animal could have on your child," says Amanda Crespo.

For Caleb, Tito is not only his close friend during the session, but his biggest fan -- providing Caleb with a sense of calmness.

"It's a really good motivator for our kids, and it helps them not to think so much that this is a therapy session, but it's more relaxed, and it's more of time just to hang out and do what we need to do," says Martel.

Since Tito wears many different vests during the sessions, it helps Caleb and many other patients focus on the activity they're trying to complete.

"With Tito in the room laying down by their feet, they just kind of rationalize through it by themselves, and we were able to move on, and it was great," says Martel.

Children's Therapy Services and Tito are looking forward to enhancing the animal-assisted therapy program as it continues to grow.