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Making it Work: Pet Therapy in Covid Times

John, one of the individuals who lives at our Supported Living service in Newport has wanted a pet for some time...

As part of our Supported Living offering, we take the needs of the individuals we support very seriously. It is hugely important that individuals have the freedom to make choices and decisions, but in many circumstances, thanks to Covid-19, those choices have become far fewer.

Understanding John’s love for animals, his support workers had planned for him to start horse riding. However, Covid-19 had other ideas and the plans had to be scrapped. Meanwhile, John had hoped to be able to take a pet therapy dog for walks, but Covid put a stop to face-to-face sessions too.

The situation seemed hopeless, but thanks to Cariad Pet Therapy securing Lottery funding, they are now working in partnership with our service to provide John with his very own robotic therapy pet.

Based in South & West Wales, Cariad Pet Therapy has volunteer teams made up of passionate handlers and their partner dogs. In normal times, they provide a high-quality pet therapy service, championing the benefits of their service which include; anxiety relief, enhanced relaxation and boosted morale. In addition, pet therapy aids motor skills, promotes communication and has even been known to lower blood pressure.

In the absence of a real-life pet, John’s robotic version is working wonders too. He is over the moon with his new pal and has named him “Sunny Jim”.

We’re looking forward to hearing more about how this Covid-friendly solution impacts on John and how he benefits going forward.