Royal Trinity Hospice welcomed its first pet therapy dog as part of a new initiative aimed at bringing companionship and comfort to patients at the hospice.
Black Labrador Chilli and her owner Claire visited several patients in their rooms who stroked Chilli and fed her treats. Chilli is one of three specially trained dogs who will now visit the hospice for a few hours a week.
Chilli and Clare will be joined at Royal Trinity Hospice by Simone with her Border Terrier, Clemmie, and Teresa with her Schnauzer, Alfie, in the coming weeks.
Royal Trinity Hospice provides free, skilled, compassionate care and support to people with progressive, life-limiting illnesses and those close to them. Last year, Trinity cared for 1,500 people in their own homes and through their inpatient and outpatient services in Clapham, south London.
Adam Marsh, Volunteer Services Manager, said “You just can’t underestimate the sheer amount of joy which pets can bring to people. You could see that Chilli visibly cheered the patients up as soon as she walked into the room. Lots of our patients may have cared for pet dogs in the past, so the visits will hopefully bring back many happy memories for them.”
All of Trinity’s therapy dogs have been assessed and fully vetted by national charity, Pets As Therapy. The charity aims to enhance health and wellbeing in the community through the visits of trusted volunteers with their behaviourally assessed animals.
If you have a few hours to spare and would like to volunteer to help then you can check out the range of opportunities available on the Royal Trinity Hospice website.