Students had a welcome break from revision during end-of-year exams, taking the initiative and inviting the charity ‘Pets as Therapy’ (PAT) into the vet school. Several PAT dogs were invited in to be patted and stroked, in a bid to relieve exam stress. Patricia Bland, area co-ordinator for the charity, led the group of volunteers and their four-legged friends. Patricia explained that PAT differs from other animal charities. Rather than training dogs to help or aid people in their lives, the team take their own pets into day care centres and care homes to bring a little happiness to people in need of company, or who might be depressed or anxious. Dogs have to be over nine months of age and are assessed before starting work with the charity. Their visit is often eagerly awaited.
Students had two hour-long sessions with the dogs over a two-week period…creating a buzz on campus and many smiling faces. What better way for vets-in-training to relax and enjoy the company of man’s best friend.