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Fuquay-Varina Dog Honored For Pet Therapy Work

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FUQUAY-VARINA — A caring canine from Fuquay-Varina has been rewarded for his hard work over the past two years.

Bailey Demmel, a 6-and-a-half-year-old Eskimo-spitz, was recently inducted into the

Animal Hall of Fame

by the

North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association


Once a week, Bailey shares his love with patients at WakeMed. His owners, Tom and Pat Demmel, adopted Bailey from the SPCA four years ago.

After a couple of years, they realized he would make a perfect pet therapy dog.

"He's just calm, laid back and he loves people. He loves everybody," said owner Tom Demmel.

"He gets right up in bed with them and just gives them all the love and attention they want," said owner Pat Demmel.

His love of people earned Bailey the right to become one of the first pet therapy dogs allowed in an Intensive Care Unit in North Carolina.

A WakeMed therapist admits that there is a reason that dogs like Bailey are welcome.

"Studies show that the healing time is actually faster if you have hands-on pet therapy at a hospital. Wounds actually heal faster," said Debbie Smith, a child life therapist.

The Demmels said that they have seen Bailey make a difference in the lives of many patients, even if it was a matter of simply bringing a smile to others.

"Bailey loves it and we love it," said Pat.

This is the first year for the Veterinary Association's Animal Hall of Fame. A giant schnauzer named Dawson was also honored for his work at Womack Army Medical Center.