Leeds Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice searches for special dog to brighten days of patients

A hospice charity providing vital support to Leeds families has begun a nationwide search for canine companions to carry out important duties.

Saturday, 1st May 2021, 4:45 pm

Sue Ryder, which runs the Wheatfields Hospice in Headingley, has partnered up with Pets as Therapy to look for potential Ambassadogs.

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The competition will celebrate dogs that are changing lives across the UK, with the final 11 four-legged friends being invited to work with Sue Ryder to spread love and support to those who need it most.

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Celebrity judge Carley Stenson, pictured with her own dogs.

Emma Sherman, volunteer co-ordinator at Wheatfields, said: “Pet therapy really is a fantastic way to reduce stress and bring happiness to our patients.

“It has been a really tough year for everybody. Throughout the pandemic, the few therapy dogs that we are working with have been unable to visit and our patients have really missed them, as have the Sue Ryder doctors, nurses, care and support staff.

“Now that we are able to start planning for the return of visitors, we wanted to put out a call to all local dog owners to nominate their furry friends in a bid to become one of Sue Ryder’s very first paw-some Ambassadogs.”

The task of selecting the next therapy dog for each of Sue Ryder’s sites will be undertaken by a panel of dog-loving celebrity judges, including presenter Kaye Adams, actress Carley Stenson, TV presenter Richard Arnold and author Emily Dean.

They will be joined by Sue Ryder chief executive Heidi Travis and Matthew Robinson from Pets As Therapy and Heidi Travis, Chief Executive of Sue Ryder.

The four-legged recruits and their owners will be expected to volunteer for a minimum of two hours a month to visit Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice and provide puppy love with the hope of brightening the days of both patients and staff.

Each dog will be assessed to make sure they fit the Pets As Therapy temperament assessment and are sociable, friendly, calm and gentle enough to work with Sue Ryder’s patients.

Visit www.sueryder.org/Ambassadog to find out if your loyal companion has what it takes to be a Sue Ryder therapy dog and view the job description online.

Nominations must be submitted by Friday May 28.

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