High school welcomes therapy dog

Poppy the therapy dog interacting with a student

Henry Kendall High School has welcomed Poppy, its first ever Pets as Therapy (PAT), therapy dog, to the school.
“PAT dogs may provide comfort, companionship and emotional support to individuals and those attending or residing in facilities who experience behavioural, emotional and mental health conditions, physical disabilities, or isolation caused by age or illness,” said Principal, Andrew Backhouse.
“The primary role of a PAT dog for a residential facility is to provide companionship and emotional support on a broader scale to appropriate facilities such as schools, nursing homes, psychologists, counsellors and rehabilitation clinics.
“PAT dogs placed in facilities require a Primary Carer who will take the dog home with them after their day at work,” he said.
“Interaction with therapy dogs has been scientifically proven to lower heart rate, increase speech and memory function and heighten mental clarity.
“PAT dogs are trained in basic obedience, have great home manners, are reliable on lead, and are exposed to mobility equipment and other stimulus where necessary, and they are just plain gorgeous,” Backhouse said.

Source:
Newsletter, Mar 1
Andrew Backhouse, Henry Kendall High School

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