Pets as Therapy
Pets as Therapy at Upton St Leonards Primary School
There are proven physical and mental health benefits to being around animals. Extensive research has shown that the presence of an animal can have a positive impact on physiology and psychology and so help to reduce stress levels. Stroking a pet for example, has been shown to lower blood pressure and the heart rate, bringing a calming effect. In this way, pets may be used to provide emotional support as well as provide a service.
During 2018 we were having regular visits from a registered therapy dog ‘Olive’, from the Pets As Therapy (PAT) READ 2 DOGS programme. Olive, the beautiful black Labrador pictured below was working with many of our children for therapeutic purposes.
Children worked with her to increase their confidence and enjoyment of reading, an initiative which proved particularly successful.
Olive’s family have moved abroad over the summer holidays however we have managed to secure another PAT Dog, ‘Noah, the Tibetan Terrier’ who will be visiting us every Monday with his owner Brenda.
This year we will be introducing ‘Skye’ into our school community. Skye is a Ragdoll cat, a breed renowned for their ‘floppy’, good nature when you cuddle them in your arms, the trait that led to their name! They are large, gentle cats with striking blue eyes who can get along with everyone, including other animals.
You can see how beautiful she is in the photograph below.
Skye will be confined within The Hub and the offices and always monitored by a member of staff. She will also be provided with a cage and outdoor run to enable her to be confined or removed due to phobias or medical conditions.