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Thousands of people of all ages benefit every week from the visits provided by our Volunteer PAT Teams, who visit residential homes, hospitals, hospices, schools, day care centres and prisons. Volunteers with just a small amount of spare time each week work with their own pets, to bring joy, comfort and companionship to many individuals who appreciate being able to touch and stroke a friendly animal.
Pets As Therapy is a national charity founded in 1983 by Lesley Scott-Ordish.
We enhance health and wellbeing in the community through the visits of trusted volunteers with their behaviourally assessed animals. We provide a visiting service in hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes, special needs schools and a variety of other venues all across the UK.
Our therapeutic visits:
Enhance lives in our communities by providing companionship and friendship and helps to tackle loneliness.
Improve the lives of people suffering from debilitating mental and physical health conditions and illnesses such as Autism, Dementia and Stroke by including animal assisted interventions as part of a holistic approach to treatment.
Improve literacy in children by developing their confidence, interest and enjoyment in reading through our read2dogs scheme.
PASSIONATE: We are passionate about the work we do, the people we do it for and the animals we do it with.
ACCOUNTABLE: We take personal responsibility for using our resources efficiently, achieving measurable results and being accountable to our sponsors, volunteers, service users and the Charity Commission.
PRINCIPLED: We are committed to the highest standards of personal honesty and behaviour, never compromising our reputation and always acting in the best interests of the Charity.
INCLUSIVE: We all work together positively, collectively focused on achieving our Vision and
MISSION: We welcome diversity and believe everyone has a valuable contribution to make, regardless of visible and invisible differences.
AMBITIOUS: We are determined to fully exploit the potential of Pets as Therapy for people across the UK, constantly developing new and creative ways to deliver our Vision and Mission.
Pets As Therapy – Read2Dogs project
How it works
Most adults are apprehensive about speaking in public. It is very daunting. Young people are no different. Research shows that young people can become nervous and stressed when reading to others in a group. However, when a PAT Dog enters the group, they often become less stressed, less self-conscious and more confident as the dogs are non-judgemental. Before long the young people are starting to look forward to the reading experience as they are going to read to their new friend, the PAT Dog. PAT Dogs provide comfort, encourage positive social behaviours, enhance self-esteem, motivate speech and inspire young people to have fun. The teacher should remain in charge of the reading sessions at all times. The students will be selected by their teachers as those who would benefit most from this intervention; normally young people who lack confidence, or have difficulty with reading or attention deficit. The teacher chooses and provides appropriate books. It is suggested that the sessions for each young person should be no longer than 15 minutes.
How you can help with your registered PAT Dog
The PAT Dog is taken into a classroom and kept at all times on a lead and under the control of the PAT Volunteer, who initially introduce themselves and their PAT Dog – his name, breed, age and what they enjoy, and a little about them being a special visitor. The students are also told how much the dog enjoys hearing stories. Teachers are in charge and in attendance constantly. The PAT Volunteer holds their PAT Dog on a lead, but the student(s) should be allowed to sit (perhaps on cushions) close, so they can interact with the dog. The PAT Dog can then be used in many ways e.g. the teacher may say “Buster can’t hear you and would really like to hear this story, can you speak up so that Buster can hear?” Or, “Buster doesn’t know that word Peter, can you tell Buster what it means?” The PAT Dog can also be shown pictures and the student explains to the dog what the pictures are.
To request the READ2DOGS visit please complete the form on our website.