Hospital to get three new 'dogs'

By Anne-Marie McDonald

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A fundraiser held by Whanganui Daybreak Rotary Club raised enough money to purchase three new therapy 'dogs' for Whanganui Hospital.

The life-like therapy dogs are used to help calm and comfort patients in hospital.

Organiser Sandy McDougall said the hospital medical ward already had two therapy pets - a small cat and a small dog.

"We thought some patients might like bigger dogs - those who are used to having big dogs or farmers with their working dogs," Miss McDougall said.

So a fundraiser was held on September 17 and $300 was raised.

"The Commercial Club allowed us to use their facilities and we watched the rugby test between the All Blacks and South Africa. Hiremaster gave us the use of a big screen and Pizza Hutt did us a good deal on pizzas at half-time. So it was a really fun night," Miss McDougall said.

She said $300 was enough for two therapy dogs; however, the supplier agreed to provide three dogs for that price.

The three "dogs" are a labrador, a golden retriever and a border collie. They are warm and they "breathe" gently, making them seem particularly life-like. Miss McDougall said two dogs will go to the medical ward with the other going to the stroke unit.

Medical ward clinical nurse manager Colleen Hill said being in hospital can make people feel anxious but stroking the pets can have a calming effect on them.

The dogs will be presented to the hospital next week.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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