Pets as therapy charity
Animals helping people and children who need assistance
If you are a dog lover you will already be well aware just how intelligent dogs are. You will also probably know that they are used to aid man in many ways. You may not however have heard of Pets as Therapy.
This charity uses various animals to help people in need. The animal may be used for example as a visitor for an elderly person or a sick child.
The charity uses dogs more than any other animal and these are usually referred to as PAT Dogs. I was lucky enough to watch a demonstration by this charity at a local veterinarian event a couple of years ago. I have to say that I was more impressed than words can convey.
Before my dog Leo became ill I considered offering him to PAT dogs. He would still have been my dog but acted as a volunteer and taken on visits to residential homes, children's wards, hospitals and more. He has the perfect nature to be a PAT dog as he is sweet tempered and looks adorable. He is also well behaved and loves people and children.
With Leo's current health problems I decided against it, but perhaps your dog would make a great volunteer?
The volunteer visiting scheme usually includes you visiting also. This can be fun as well as difficult at times. It is yet another pull on your time but so worthy a one.
Many people who perhaps now have to reside in a residential home will adore animals. Perhaps they always kept a pet dog at home. As someone who would fall into this category I can understand how much they may miss a pet.
There is also the therapy side of a visit from a sweet animal. It has been well reported that stroking a dog is very calming and relaxing. If you are stroking some dogs it is hard not to smile as you do so. Dogs respond well as they love attention. This may mean that the dog snuggles gently into the patients legs. All of this can be very therapeutic for all concerned.
I have copied this brief PAT dogs history for their website:
Pets As Therapy is a national charity founded in 1983. It is unique in that it provides therapeutic visits to hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes, special needs schools and a variety of other venues by volunteers with their own friendly, temperament tested and vaccinated dogs and cats.
"Since its beginning over 23,000 P.A.T. dogs have been registered into the Pets As Therapy scheme. Every year some of these retire and new dogs, having first been examined and passed on health, temperament, suitability and stability grounds, join Pets As Therapy.
Today there are currently over 4,500 active P.A.T. visiting dogs and 108 P.A.T. cats at work in the UK. Every week these calm friendly P.A.T. dogs and cats give more than 130,000 people, both young and old, the pleasure and chance to cuddle and talk to them. The bedsides that are visited each year number a staggering 6.75million"
What wonderful statistics.
As PAT dogs say this charity brings a little home life and normality to those away from the home environment. The animals can bring comfort and so much more. The charity is researching the many benefits PAT dogs can offer the disabled.
This final statement from the PAT dogs website is very important:
"There is an ever-growing demand for visits by our volunteers with their P.A.T. dogs and cats. We rely on your donations to help us satisfy that demand. PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY"
I do hope that you can. This charity deserves more recognition and funding than it currently receives.
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