On Wednesday 31st July, Little Havens Hospice opened it’s doors to eight puppies.
Havens Hospices, which cares for children, young adults and adults with life-limiting illnesses within the community, in the home and at its two hospices were joined by eight malamute puppies at Little Havens Hospice in Thundersley as part of an appeal for PAT (Pets As Therapy) dogs across their hospice services.
Children, families and staff at Little Havens all got to enjoy a cuddle with the seven week old pups, including 13 year old Sadie. Sadie and her family have been supported by Little Havens since 2015 - Sadie is now well enough to not need hospice care; so yesterday was her last day under Little Havens care.
Throughout her time at Little Havens one of Sadie’s favourite things was to spend time with the charity’s PAT dog Ben; so the puppy party was the perfect way for Sadie’s Little Havens journey to come to a close.
PAT dogs can help children, young people and adults with serious illnesses to feel less isolated and improve mental wellbeing, they can also help minimise pain because of the hormonal response and they can help improve socialisation and communication.
Care Team Lead, Mandy Myers said
“We all had a lovely time meeting the puppies, they were incredibly cute and very calm – it was fantastic to see the boost in mood in the children, their families and staff after they’d spent time cuddling and playing with them. Thank you so much to Lorna for bringing the pups in to visit us – by doing this you really have helped us fulfil our promise of ‘Making every day count’ for the children and families we care for.
“All of our hospice services focus on the individual needs of the child or patient we’re caring for and we have seen how important PAT dogs are for the care of some of our patients – we currently have one PAT dog Ben who is an absolute superstar, but it would be lovely to have a few different PAT dogs that could spend time with us across the hospice services.”
If you’d like to find out how your dog can volunteer as a PAT dog please click here or contact Volunteer Services on 01702 426237