Published: 21 February 2019

Exam stress busting with Pets As Therapy

Pets As Therapy has become an important part of Surrey vet students’ armour, in the run-up to exams; providing light relief in the form of furry, cuddly dogs and their friendly owners. The Pets as Therapy team visit twice a year, volunteering their time in an attempt to enhance the health and welfare of stressed vet students, through the wonderful medium of petting dogs.

Pets As Therapy was founded in 1983 by Lesley Scott-Ordish. Using trusted and committed volunteers and their equally as trusted, committed and behaviourally assessed dogs, Lesley established a charity that aims to enhance lives, provide companionship and tackle the ever-increasing issue of loneliness within communities across the UK. It’s simple yet wonderful; volunteers share their time and pets with people in need. The effect is astonishing.

The charity hopes to improve the lives of those suffering with both mental and physical illness, harnessing the beneficial power of animal assisted therapy, along with improving the literacy and confidence of children throughout the UK through their Read2Dogs scheme.

Residential homes, hospitals, hospices, schools, day care centres and even prisons – all establishments which, just like our Vet School, take joy and comfort from the visits of the volunteers and their four-legged friends. Both cats and dogs are included in therapy programmes and their welfare is paramount – each animal is assessed for temperament, suitability, no animal is overworked, and all must take regular breaks, ensuring a pleasant experience for all involved.

This is a charity founded by and run solely on the kindness of humans and their wonderful companions. They enrich the lives of not just us flustered students, but of people throughout the UK, whether they be old, young, sick, suffering, stressed or simply lonely. We can help them all through something as simple as sharing our love of animals – and that’s incredible! 

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