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Briggs own Karen Jones has recently begun visiting Manchester Hospital with her beautiful and very well trained Japanese Shiba Inu’s which work as therapy dogs, visiting patients and bringing a little cheer to the wards.

Karen, whose time is sponsored by Briggs, visits the hospital for one day per month and both her and her dogs have a very intensive day visiting as many patients as they can. The visits have had a very positive response from patients to date throughout a short trial period and will now continue for the foreseeable future.

Karen has five therapy dogs and so far Diva and Roxy have done the rounds. The most recent visit took place on Friday the 5th April with Diva (pictured).

Pets As Therapy is a national charity that enhances health and wellbeing in the community through the visits of trusted volunteers with their behaviourally assessed animals. They provide a visiting service in hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes, special needs schools and a variety of other venues all across the UK. Karen was inspired to get involved with the visits at Manchester hospital following the bombing last year, as she wanted to do something to help.

The therapeutic visits enhance lives in our communities by providing companionship and friendship and helps to tackle loneliness. They also improve the lives of people suffering from debilitating mental and physical health conditions and illnesses such as Autism, Dementia and Stroke by including animal assisted interventions as part of a holistic approach to treatment.

Karen recounts her first visit with Roxy, “It was a very emotional day, Roxy was an absolute super star and I was so proud of her. We did full four hours of intro to help establish those who wanted the pets as therapy visits, Roxy took it all in her stride and what a welcome we had from every single ward. We had a waiting committee when arrived on each ward with doctors, nurses and patients waiting for us. Some of the staff even waited for us after their shifts had finished to see Roxy which made us feel so welcome. The Manchester ward had a doggy morning waiting for us and one patient had even draw a picture of a dog in anticipation of the visit.”

We look forward to seeing more of Diva and Roxy in the coming months, and will continue to provide updates via Briggs blog and our social media channels.

We are pleased to support such a worthwhile cause and are very proud of the dogs for their excellent work.

Pictured: Diva getting to know the staff and patients.

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