Pets in Recovery – Best Friends or a Distraction?

We recently published two articles on our therapy dog, Apollonia, which were food for thought. Animals—especially dogs—are good for recovery. But what about during a virtual intensive outpatient session? Can a pet make you feel more confident or willing to share? And consider a puppy or other young animal. When is it appropriate to bring an pet into a recovery-friendly home? We’ve asked a lot of questions and offer some solutions below including the value of a therapy dog when you are in the thick of treatment. Click the link or photo to read!


Power of Pets in Virtual Addiction Treatment

family recovery

As we have virtual programs at the Sanford Outpatient Center, I have had the unique privilege of seeing inside my clients’ lives and living environments. As we chat onscreen, we can all glimpse pieces of one another’s world at home. Notably, I have gotten to see the pets my clients spend their days with, and it has brought the most unexpected joy. [Read More]


Now that We’re in Recovery, Who Wants a Puppy?

I know we are not supposed to start a serious relationship, get married, get divorced, or move right out of the sober gate, but can we get a puppy? After all, pets add structure and routine to life – and they’re so cute and dependent and universally positive! [Read More]




Benefits of a Therapy Dog in Mental Health Treatment

We want to sing the praises of our therapy dog, Apollonia. Apol is an adorable Corgi who earns her keep doing the important job of comforting Sanford’s clients. Corgis are in tune with their surroundings. After all, they are working dogs bred to herd cattle. It’s their job to pay attention! This characteristic, along with her caring demeanor and tendency to seek out physical affection, lends itself to making her the perfect dog to assist in the important work being done at Sanford Behavioral Health.” [Read More]


Therapy Dog Apollonia Inspires Patients at Sanford Behavioral Health

At Sanford Behavioral Health, therapy dog Apollonia (Apol) is a celebrity of sorts. When she trots through the halls with Sanford Founder Rae Green, both patients and team members brighten. [Read More]


If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, eating disorders, or co-occurring mental health conditions, don’t wait to change your life – click the link below to speak with an admissions specialist.


Sanford Behavioral Health is licensed and accredited as an addiction, eating disorder, and co-occurring mental health treatment facility, serving all of Michigan and beyond. Each of Sanford’s facilities in Greater Grand Rapids is carefully and diligently crafted to create a welcoming and comforting environment. Sanford is led by a psychiatrist-led team of medical, clinical, and support personnel providing medication-assisted, evidenced-based treatment to residential, outpatient, and telehealth patients. For more information, visit