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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Comments 12 comments

Chris Achilleos profile image

Chris Achilleos 4 years ago

Very informative and well structured hub ethel, i will be sharing it :) Voted up, useful and interesting!

Jeani Madley 4 years ago

Think it is a lovely therputic activity Pat Dogs i would like telephone contacts in Hull to set Therapy for clients with special needs and learning dissability .

ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull Author

They certainly can :)

loveofnight profile image

loveofnight 6 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

i love the work that they do, pets can be so loving and give a lot of love......thank you for sharing this with us.

ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull Author

Thanks dear Peggy and Eileen. Yes pets do cost too much money but they give so much back.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

I have actually seen them in nursing homes and as you say, they do wonders for the residents. It is a wonderful volunteer opportunity for both the animals and their owners and should be encouraged. Thanks for raising awareness!

Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 6 years ago from Northam Western Australia

what a beautiful hub. I had not heard of pats but I did write an article ages ago (I think) about the way they were used in hospitals etc to help people.

Our pets are so wonderful. I read somewhere the other day how much the average person spends on their pet a year and boy it was a stagering amount. I know it costs a fortune at the vets. great hub but you always give us great info thanks again. cheers

ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull Author

Thanks ladies. Yes raisingme, I agree, perhaps we were twins, separated at birth lol.

HH if you ever get chance to see a demonstration by PAT dogs go for it. The display I watched included Hearing Dogs which were amazing.

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

That is a great information. I have never heard of and I think it is fantastic. Thank you, ethel, for sharing.

raisingme profile image

raisingme 6 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

Ethel I could swear you may well be my sister from another mother! I truly appreciate ALL that you have to share!

ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull Author

I quite agree Habee. Mind you I am a wreck with them lol

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Great info! My dogs are very theraputic for me - I'd be a wreck without them!

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