For the last 20 years Pets As Therapy have been very quietly making a huge impact in the community by their volunteers visiting Hospitals, Hospices, Residential Homes, Day Care Centres, Special Needs schools etc. with dogs.
Robert Killick recently wrote in Our Dogs: "PAT dogs must be the most powerful promotional tool to extol the value of dogs in the community. Just imagine hundreds of dogs of all breeds including mongrels, visiting the old and infirm in hospitals and hospices; they deserve every support we can offer."
In this twentieth anniversary year of Pets As Therapy we would like to launch a special Fund raising Campaign. In the current financial climate, funding is increasingly difficult. Pets As Therapy would be very grateful for any help you can give.
Facts about Pets As Therapy -
Take the three initials from Pets As Therapy and you get the word PAT. That is why the dogs are called PAT dogs.
Over 100,000 patients every single week benefit from the work of Pets As Therapy.
Any dog can become a PAT dog as long as it has been with its owner for at least six months and can pass the necessary temperament assessment.
Since its inception some 15,000 dogs have been registered and more recently approx 60 cats. Every year some of these retire through age or ill health therefore new recruits are always needed.
There is a waiting list of establishments wanting PAT dogs to visit; however at present in some areas of the U.K. there is a need for many more PAT dogs to be registered.
Over 90 Area Co-ordinators look after volunteers in their own areas as well as organising social and fun events. n Temperament assessments are undertaken by a team of people throughout the U.K. who have all taken an accredited course run by Pets As Therapy.
Pets As Therapy volunteers are all covered by the special £5million public liability insurance whilst visiting establishments.
All PAT dogs wear a special I.D. disc on their collar. Their owners also wear a special photo I.D. badge whilst on visits.
Most PAT dog owners make one visit a week, of between one and two hours, although some volunteers do more. Volunteers generously give their time so it is really up to them to decide how much they can spare, and when.
Whilst the lives of thousands of people are improved regularly by Pets As Therapy, the whole charity is run by just five staff. It is their role to provide help and advice to the volunteer force, to encourage recruitment and to develop the reach, value and effectiveness of the charity's service. The average cost of this is £75 p.a. per volunteer of which up to £20 is generously met by subscription from the volunteers themselves.
Responsibility for the Charity's performance is carried by a Board of unremunerated trustees.
* In the year 2001 Pets As Therapy were one of the charities chosen for the GMTV's Get Up & Give Appeal. In 2002 Pets As Therapy were named as the 'Charity of the Year' at the Golden Bone Awards and they were recently the recipient of the BKR Haines Watts Award for 'Innovation in non-clinical areas of NHS Trusts'.
No matter what breed you own you must acknowledge that PAT dogs are great ambassadors.
How can you help?
Please send a donation?
No matter how small - it will help. Please make any cheques payable to Pets As Therapy, P.O. Box 11, Stanley, Co. Durham. DH9 7YZ.
Become a 'Friend of Pets As Therapy'.
Friends of Pets As Therapy are people who are sympathetic to the charity including those pet lovers whose pets are not suitable to become visiting PAT dogs, or maybe people who do not own a pet but who would like to support the work of Pets As Therapy. Anyone can join.
All 'Friends' pay an initial membership fee of £10 and a monthly subscription of £2.
A 'Life Friend' will pay a one off subscription of £200.
Register your dog as a PAT dog.
For registration forms please send a s.a.e. to - (insert either Lena's address or Northern Office address)
Give as you Earn
If you are on a payroll you can ask your employers for a specified donation (maybe as little as £1) to be deducted monthly from your earnings. You can then give a letter to your employers saying "If you are not already registered with the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF - Tel. 01732-520019) as a donor organisation in its Give As You Earn (GAYE) scheme, please do register. Then, as from (selected date) until further notice, deduct from each monthly payment of my earnings before tax the sum of (amount specified) and send it to CAF to be credited t the account of Pets As Therapy (registered charity no 803637)."
Just as a Will brings security to your family's future, a legacy could help secure the future of Pets As Therapy and help continue the beneficial service provided to over 100,000 patients in hospitals, hospices, residential homes, special needs schools etc. every week. A Will allows you to make a donation to a charity of your choice. Leaving a donation to Pets As Therapy gives you a lasting memorial by helping to bring joy into the lives of others. If you would like a copy of the Pets As Therapy legacy leaflet please contact - Pets As Therapy 01207-236040.
Money Box Appeal
Would you be willing to save 20p's in a special Pets As Therapy money box?
If you save 20p a week in one of our special money boxes at the end of the year you will have raised over £10 which really can help. For your FREE money box please contact Kate Swinhoe, tel. 01873-851313.
These are just a few ways in which you can help this worthwhile charity. If you have any other ideas why not let us know.
To most of us interacting with animals is a very important part of our lives. They cheer us and give us comfort when we are depressed, keep us healthy and active, make us laugh and generally improve our quality of life. Imagine then the pain of being denied access to the animals we all love so much.
In a residential home for the elderly, Jean sits by the door every Saturday morning waiting for her friend, the PAT dog to arrive. When the door opens Jean shouts with joy "Here's my ray of sunshine, she's my reason for staying alive".
This is a major support campaign for Pets As Therapy - please send any donations made payable to Pets As Therapy to: Pets As Therapy, P.O. Box 11, Stanley Co. Durham. Or if you wish to help in any other way contact Maureen Hennis on 01207 - 236040.