1. ITV Report

Greyhounds offer therapy to people with brain damage

Brian is encouraged to groom the dog, called Paddy, to improve his co-ordination Photo:

Greyhounds are helping people with brain damage in Gateshead, in a new kind of pet therapy, which could be rolled out across the UK.

The dogs visit patients at the Chase Park Neuro Centre in Whickham once a week for a walk and a grooming session. The activity helps patients, who may have had strokes, head injuries, or neurological conditions such as MS or Motor Neurone Disease, with their co-ordination and speech.

One of the patients at the centre, Brian, said he enjoyed stroking the dogs because they are gentle and kind:

"Contact with any animals is a positive thing in terms of lowering blood pressure and helping patients to relax, so we were looking to see what other animals could be beneficial," said Andrew Patterson, Neuro Physiotherapist.

"There is also a motivational aspect. Clients are more willing to get up and get ready quickly, when they know the dogs are coming."

Watch Derek Proud's report on the greyhound therapy here: