Bea­gles lead in hos­pi­tal pet pro­gram

Canning Times - - NEWS -

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.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son

From left: Dr Maggie McAlin­den with Imshi, reg­is­tered nurse Natalia Ahu­mada, Dawn Po­letti, Dr Omid Naz­ifi and reg­is­tered nurse Mariah Wright with Yal­lah .

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