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UCI Health celebrates retirement of pet therapy dog Henry

Storied career includes more than 830 visits, comfort at schools, crisis sites and more

March 13, 2024
uci health pet therapy dog henry an 11 year old golden retriever retires, getting love from uci medical center team members wearing blue scrubs
Henry, an 11-year-old therapy dog who has brought comfort to
hundreds of people, retired this week along with his handler.

Orange, Calif. — UCI Health celebrated the remarkable career of Henry, an 11-year-old golden retriever therapy dog, and his handler, Steve Booth, during a heartfelt retirement ceremony in the Healing Garden at UCI Medical Center in Orange.

Henry, a retired OC Sheriff’s Department K9, peer support, crisis response and CAL FIRE K9, has made an impact through his service. With more than 830 visits under his belt, Henry’s contributions have been immeasurable, providing comfort not just at UCI Medical Center, but also at schools and various crisis sites. During their time at UCI Health, Henry and Steve completed 63 service hours, touching the lives of countless patients and co-workers.

The celebration saw the gathering of co-workers and the participation of members of the OC Sheriff’s Department, alongside K9s from other agencies. A highlight of the event was the Honor Walk for Henry and Steve, an emotional tribute to their dedication and service. Attendees enjoyed cake while Henry was treated to a special doggie cake.

As we honor Henry’s service, we also recognize the ongoing importance of the UCI Health Pet Therapy Program. Research indicates that interaction with pets can positively affect the physical and mental well-being of both children and adults. This program continues to demonstrate the positive effects that therapy dogs have on patient well-being, helping to alleviate stress, anxiety and loneliness.

UCI Health remains committed to utilizing innovative approaches like pet therapy to enhance patient care. As we bid farewell to Henry, we acknowledge his incredible legacy and the joy he has brought to our health community.

For more information on the UCI Health Pet Therapy Program or to get involved, please contact our volunteer office at ucimcvolunteer@hs.uci.edu or call 714-456-5541.

We celebrate Henry's well-deserved retirement and thank him for his years of dedicated service.

About UCI Health

UCI Health is the clinical enterprise of the University of California, Irvine, and the only academic health system in Orange County. Patients can access UCI Health at primary and specialty care offices across Orange County and at its main campus, UCI Medical Center in Orange, Calif. The 459-bed, acute care hospital, listed among America’s Best Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report for 23 consecutive years, provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, behavioral health and rehabilitation services. UCI Medical Center is home to Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program and American College of Surgeons-verified Level I adult and Level II pediatric trauma center, gold level 1 geriatric emergency department and regional burn center. UCI Health serves a region of nearly 4 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.