Would you like to help make other people happy too?
For 21 years Pets As Therapy have been bringing joy and happiness into the lives of people who are cut off from animals.
The Pets As Therapy Charity prides itself in running the largest, original, most effective and most professional visiting scheme in the U.K. and Europe. Over 200,000 people benefit, every single week from the work of PAT dogs and PAT cats.
Pets As Therapy were awarded the BKR Haines Watts Award for ‘innovation in non-clinical areas of NHS Trusts’. They were named ‘Charity of the Year 2001’ by The Pet Role Trust and were finalists in the Age Concern NOJO Awards.
Can you imagine what it would be like to have no contact whatsoever with animals?
Thousands of people who love contact with animals are denied access through no fault of their own.
At present there are approx. 5,000 registered PAT dogs and 60 PAT cats visiting in Hospitals, Hospices, Care Homes for all ages and disabilities, special needs schools, etc., however Pets As Therapy still have hundreds of establishments on a waiting list desperate for PAT dogs to visit.
Can you help?
To fill some of these vacancies Pets As Therapy are looking for more kind, caring people to volunteer with their dogs. Each Pets As Therapy volunteer decides how much time they can devote to visiting. An hour a week can make a huge difference to the lives of many patients.
The Pets As Therapy services is currently provided free of charge to establishments requesting visits, although there are those who make occasional voluntary donations to help in the continuance of this valuable service.
Every volunteer is covered by the necessary Pets As Therapy insurance whilst on visits. All PAT dogs and PAT cats undergo a temperament test and must be friendly, happy and have a reliable disposition. The temperament tests are carried out by a team of accredited Pets As Therapy assessors. Once your dog has passed the test he/she could be part of the valuable service provided by Pets As Therapy volunteers to some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
Frequently asked questions
Q. Can any dog become a PAT dog?
A. Yes. PAT dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Whether your dog is a pedigree or crossbreed. It’s the temperament of the dog that is important not the size or breed.
Q. Is there a minimum age limit?
A. Yes. Your dog will need to have been in your ownership for a least 9 months to ensure that a good bond has been established between you.
Q. Will my dog need any special training?
A. No. Obviously they need to be housetrained and have good manners. Some basic obedience is helpful.Your dog must always be under your control and kept on a lead whilst on visits.
Q. How will I know what to do on visits.
A. Once your dog is registered as a PAT dog you will be sent a full information pack including helpful visiting notes. You will also be given the name and contact details of your nearest Area Co-ordinator who will guide you and will often accompany you on your first visit if required.
Q. How will I know where to visit?
A. The Pets As Therapy office and also Area Co-ordinators in your own area, Keep a list of hospitals and homes who have requested PAT dog visits. You would normally visit as near as possible to your own home so that little travelling is involved. Some volunteers also help with ‘special cases’ e.g. working in Stroke Units, or with phobic patients, or with patients who are extremely depressed. Pets As Therapy have had truly amazing results in these areas.
Q. How do I get my dog tested?
A. The temperament test is carried out by a person who has attended an accredited course learning how to assess PAT dogs. The name of your nearest assessor will be given on the application form.
Q. What does the test involve?
A. The person carrying out the test will check that your dog is sociable and friendly without being over-boisterous. Your dog should be calm and gentle when being stroked. The assessor will also want to see how your dog reacts to sudden noise. Remember – the dog should enjoy the visits too.
Pets As Therapy has been proven to have all round benefits. The first person to benefit is the patient being visited. You only have to walk into a ward or a home with a PAT dog to see the faces light up. It really does have to be seen to be believed. The patient’s families benefit as they are always delighted to know that their relative is receiving pleasure and stimulation from the visits.
The staff in the establishments benefit as their jobs are so much easier when their patients are happy and content. Very often they also enjoy a cuddle and stroke of the PAT dog, which in turn reduces the stress level of staff members.
The PAT volunteers benefit as they like nothing better than sharing their dogs and knowing that they are bringing so much happiness to so many people.
Lastly the dogs themselves benefit as they thoroughly enjoy all the fuss made of them, making new friends and sometimes receiving a favourite treat. So, why not register your dog as a PAT dog and do something together that would take only an hour or so a week to bring joy, love and happiness as well as huge smiles to hundreds of people.
Q. How can I register my dog as a PAT dog?
A. For an application pack please write to – Pets As Therapy, 3 Grange Farm
Cottages, Wycombe Road, Saunderton, Bucks. HP27 9NS. A stamped addressed envelope (minimum 16x23cm) would be appreciated. For further details telephone 0870-240-1239 or visit the Pets As Therapy website at www.petsastherapy.org