Staff from the Mayhew mingled with around 150 people and therapy dogs at an event at the House of Lords on Jan 20 to show how pets bring much needed support to elderly people.
Stars on the night were two therapy dogs called Star and Seren who stole the show with their striking good looks.
Celebrity vet and animal lover, Marc Abraham, joined guests at the event arranged by the National Office of Animal Health (NOAH).
Among those present was wheelchair user Allen Parton – founder of Hounds for Heroes – who was in a coma for five years after being injured in the Gulf war. His dog Ejay, regularly saves his life by placing him in the recovery position when he passes out. He was unable to read, write walk, talk or recognise his wife during that time due to a brain injury.
The Mayhew Animal Home showcased its ground-breaking programme, TheraPaws, where rescue pets are taken to care homes to visit elderly people with Dementia.
TheraPaws coordinator, Luke Berman said: “It was a fantastic event and a great opportunity to highlight the work we do at the rescue centre with our ground-breaking programme. Taking our rescue pets to see the elderly and people suffering from Dementia or in palliative care is heart-warming for all concerned.
“Our TheraPaws pets bring much joy to people who otherwise do not communicate. It’s an opportunity for the elderly to unlock previously forgotten memories of their own pets and revisit the past.”
The event was hosted by veterinary surgeon Professor the Lord Trees.
Lord Trees added: “The object of this event is to work together to help allow the wonderful relationship between pets and people to continue to flourish as they grow older together.
Shocking statistics were revealed showing that around 140 thousand people a year are forced to give up their pets when they go into care.
NOAH vice-chairman Mary Boughton said: “We need housing regulations which allow animals to be kept in care and residential centres.
“It is within the gift of Parliament to ensure that older people in the UK are no longer forced to choose between the housing they need and the animals they love.”
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