Hospital unit in Kent welcomes two new therapy dogs to help comfort patients

New therapy dogs Molly (left) and Hunney (right). Credit: Medway NHS Foundation Trust

A hospital unit in Kent has welcomed two new therapy dogs to help comfort patients.

Molly, a four-year-old Cock-a-tzu, and Hunney, a one-year-old Cockapoo, will be visiting the frailty ward at Sheppey Community Hospital every week, after joining as volunteers.

Molly's owner Tricia Higson said: "I live in Sheppey and it’s about giving something back to the community and to the hospital. Molly and I get a lot out of it and the patients benefit greatly too – some people don’t have regular visitors, so that’s where we can step in and provide comfort."

Hunney's owner Jo said: "Now we have regular weekly slots booked in we can tell the patients in advance when we are coming and it really gives them a boost. We cheer up the patients and their relatives too – it’s amazing to see how it benefits them."

Molly with patient Joyce (left) and Hunney with patient Theresa (right). Credit: Medway NHS Foundation Trust

Patient Shirlee Jacobs said: "Seeing Molly and Hunney has really brightened up my day. They get everyone up, talking and bring positivity to the ward. I think it’s really important to have therapy animals like this. My daughter has dogs and my mum and dad always owned pets when I was growing up, so we are very much a dog family."

Patient Theresa Monk said: "I’ve had dogs all my life – it gives you a real lift to see them here at the hospital. Hunny is so soft and lovely – she makes me feel very calm and relaxed."

Molly and Hunney are the latest recruits to the Trust’s team of therapy dogs, which includes golden retriever Yazzy, Siberian Husky Blue and Havanese Maltese cross Fred, who volunteer regularly at Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham.

Zoe Goodman, the Trust’s Voluntary Services Manager, said: "We are delighted to welcome Molly and Hunney to our team of therapy dogs across Medway and Swale and we thank their owners Tricia and Jo for giving up their time to support our patients, visitors and colleagues. They really help to bring cheer to people in hospital and we hear so much positive feedback about the dogs – it’s wonderful to see the smiles they put on people’s faces."

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