Beagles lead in hospital pet program
BEAGLES are boosting the spirits of Bentley Hospital patients on weekends in a new pet therapy program.
Each Saturday, for about half an hour, a beagle is brought in by a volunteer to a secured courtyard for plenty of cuddles.
Dawn Poletti, of Kelmscott, said the visits make her feel “warm and fuzzy” because she once owned a kelpie collie.
Mrs Poletti's artificial hip dislocated and she has spent a month in hospital, soon to undergo further surgery and rehabilitation.
The pet therapy program is designed to alleviate loneliness for its long-term patients.
Either Imshi and Yallah – both girls – are brought into the hospital after a bath by volunteer Maggie McAlinden. The dogs are trained not to lick the patients. Royal Perth Bentley Group Ideas Platform member Marilyn Sebastian is clinical nurse at Royal Perth and is hoping to implement her pet therapy concept there as well.
Joondalup Hospital also has a pet therapy program.
From left: Dr Maggie McAlinden with Imshi, registered nurse Natalia Ahumada, Dawn Poletti, Dr Omid Nazifi and registered nurse Mariah Wright with Yallah .