Kepu Savou thought he had come down with a cold. When his symptoms persisted, he visited a doctor and learned that his heart was failing—something Savou never would’ve imagined at age 29.

He has been an inpatient at the University of Washington Medical Center, awaiting a donor heart for transplant. While the months-long experience has been difficult, he says a program called Paws for Patients has provided much-needed emotional support. Program volunteers bring registered therapy dogs to visit patients who face challenging medical conditions.

Dog therapy has been shown to improve moods, decrease anxiety, and reduce loneliness.

To watch a video about Savou’s experience, visit

To read Amplitude’s article about certified therapy dog Keating, who is also an amputee, visit