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A charity is seeking four-legged therapists in Cardiff

Keen to deliver more four-legged therapy to those in need in Cardiff, national charity, Pets As Therapy, is seeking 130 fury-friends and their owners to help offer companionship.

Pets As Therapy is keen to find the most caring Cardiff pooches, so along with their owners they can bring comfort and joy to school children, patients in hospitals, care homes and hospices in the region.

Contact with pets, especially dogs and cats, can be life-changing, not only do they help alleviate anxiety and loneliness but can aid recovery and of course offer unconditional love and affection.

To help in the recruitment drive, Pets As Therapy has joined forces with leading pet healthcare company, Bob Martin, which is celebrating its 130th anniversary in 2022, and will be offering products for all the new recruits.

Matthew Robinson, National Volunteer & Events Manager at Pets As Therapy said:

“Our volunteer pets come in all shapes and sizes and can be pedigree or crossbreed. All we ask is that they are friendly, calm, healthy, well-groomed, and love meeting new people! We also need volunteer pets to be at least nine months old, have up-to-date vaccinations, be wormed and protected against fleas.

“There is also no set requirement on how often you need to undertake visits on behalf of Pets As Therapy, but regular visits are greatly appreciated by all those who receive them.”

One local school which has regular Pets As Therapy visits is Pencoed Primary in Pencoed, Bridgend.  Julie Jenkins, the school’s Family Engagement Officer said:

“We first heard of Pets as Therapy after our Headteacher attended a training course in which one school was sharing the benefits of having a dog. The official process was incredibly easy and the whole team were fantastic in linking us with Wendy and Kath, who have been visiting the school for seven years both with their previous dog Teisen, and now with the loveable Griff.

“We’ve witnessed so many benefits from these regular visits, from helping children gain confidence in reading and keeping them engaged in school, to simply cheering them up if they’re in low spirit.”

The parent of a pupil at Pencoed Primary added: “Having a reading dog at the school has been amazing for the children.  As a parent whose child has had the chance to read to Griff, I can honestly say it’s helped him massively with his love for school, confidence in himself in general and in reading.  He looks forward to seeing Griff on a weekly basis and most of the time now, can’t wait to get to school on the days he knows he gets to see him.”

Chris Socratous, pet expert at Bob Martin said: “The work Pets As Therapy do is really important to its service users, and it’s great to see the charity understand the incredible mental health benefits it can bring to some of the most vulnerable in our society.

“We are delighted to partner with such an innovative charity that does so much good in the community. If any pet parents in the Cardiff area have time to volunteer, we would most definitely encourage them to do so.”