(Updated 2/4/01)

Pets As Therapy / PRO Dogs

By Maureen Hennis

WHAT A superb event The Golden Bone Ball was, made all the more exciting by the Pet Dog of the Year Award going to PAT dog Rupert who attended the event with his owner Pat Dyer. The event was star studded to say the least, with so many celebrities in attendance that it would be impossible to list them all in this small space. My personal thanks to all concerned for a wonderful evening.

Traditionally at this time of the year we start asking for nominations for PAT Dog of the Year. In previous years your nominations for the one dog out of the many thousands that visit such a variety of establishments have made our sponsors’ job of choosing PAT Dog of the Year such a difficult one. This year the competition is to be sponsored by Ralston Purina.

As the year 2001 has been designated International Year of the Volunteer it has been decided to focus on our very special volunteers as well as the PAT dogs. ‘The team’ of the volunteer and their dog or cat are truly the unsung heroes of the charity and the extent of their giving is rarely seen or talked about. So this year we will be having three voting categories which will highlight the volunteer as well as their pet. This year’s three categories are - Best Pets As Therapy Dog Team - Prize of £500 and one year’s supply of Pro Plan. Runner up Pets As Therapy Dog Team - Prize of £200 and six months’ supply of Pro Plan.

Best Pets As Therapy Cat Team - Prize of £250 and one year’s supply of cat food. Runner up Pets As Therapy Cat Team - Prize of £100 and six months’ supply of cat food. There is also another new category this year and it is for Best Establishment Team - Prize of £500 to be shared between the volunteers. This is a team of several volunteers who with their registered pets visit one establishment e.g. a large hospital. Each winner will also receive a certificate. Anyone can make a nomination, we would be delighted to hear from you. Nomination forms can be found on page 10 of the current edition of Argos magazine, which is available from Pets As Therapy Head Office.

Carol and Joe Ferber are Pets As Therapy volunteers from Merseyside who visit with their Yorkshire Terrier PAT dog Oliver, who is now 15 years old - and still going strong. Oliver is a very popular little dog visiting regularly at several residential homes in the area. Carol tells me that as well as the patients loving every minute of Oliver’s work, Oliver, pictured here with one of his friends, himself thoroughly enjoys all the fussing, attention and biscuits. His visits will continue for as long as he enjoys them. Long may he continue.

If you would like to register your dog as a PAT dog please send a sae to Pets As Therapy, Rocky Bank, 6 New Road, Ditton, Kent ME20 6AD. If you have any news, views or comments for either Pets As Therapy or PRO Dogs please contact me at - Pets As Therapy (Northern), PO Box 11, Stanley, Co Durham DH9 7YZ or telephone 01207 236040.


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