JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Humane Society has been selected to appear on a national television show called “Shelter Me.”
“I give our staff and community credit for our serious rep for being animal lovers in Jacksonville for landing this role on ‘Shelter Me,’” said director Denise Deisler.
The PBS network show “Shelter Me” has been on the air for 10 years and focuses on positive stories involving animal welfare.
Conrad Stanley is the show’s producer.
“We travel around the country collecting stories about people doing great things involving animal welfare,” Stanley said.
The story that will air on national television is about how the shelter helps Brooks Rehabilitation Center patients suffering from aphasia, a medical communication disorder as a result of having a stroke or injury to the brain.
Part of their rehab is reading to the cats and dogs that are available for adoption. Deisler said it’s a win-win for both the patients and the animals that require daily human interaction.
“It’s a great thing for our dogs of course. They get comfortable and relaxation from that interaction, but for the patients, it helps them practice regaining their reading skills in front of a very non-judgmental audience,” Deisler said.
“And coming here is very empowering for them because they’re helping the dogs and cats. They understand that it calms them down and they feel like they’re really giving back and it makes them feel good,” said Jodi Morga, Brooks Rehab Aphasia Center manager.
Production crews recorded video of the interaction and the show’s producer interviewed rehab patients at the shelter and the people responsible for making this all possible. The producer said these efforts to help animals and people are stories that need to be told.
“You know, a lot of times the perception of the shelter is it’s out of sight, out of mind. But this. I don’t know Jacksonville yet. I don’t know where we are at geographically, but this is the heart of Jacksonville. This really is. The love and the passion I’ve seen here is just really inspiring,” Stanley said.
It wasn’t clear when the episode will air.