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Hounds for Heroes in Hospital

Hounds for Heroes visit to Children’s Ward

Children at the James Paget University Hospitals welcomed some special furry friends on to the Children and Young Person’s Ward.

EJ and Rookie, two assistance dogs from Hounds for Heroes, paid a surprise visit to the patients and families of Ward 10, to give them some much appreciated pet therapy.

Hounds for Heroes is a UK based charity that provides specially trained assistance dogs to injured and disabled men and women of both the UK armed forces and civilian emergency services.

Not only do these highly-trained pooches bring quality of life to their owner by opening doors, getting money from ATMs and picking up items; they also bring companionship and love to those who might otherwise feel isolated or alone.

Allen Parton, Founder and Vice Chairman of Hounds for Heroes, accompanied Cadets EJ and Rookie to the Ward.

EJ, now 5 ½ years old, was used to format the training programme for the charity, which has since been undertaken by Rookie (2 ½), who will shortly be taking his final assistance dog exams.

Their visit was a welcome distraction for the young children of Ward 10, who got to pet the animals and see the special skills they have learnt in action.

Allen Parton said: ““It was a truly inspirational day meeting with the young patients at the James Paget Hospital, with whom my daughter Zoe Parton works every day. These youngsters have faced such trial and tribulation in their lives, and it leaves a fellow like me quite humbled. Cadet EJ and Reservist Cadet, Rookie thoroughly enjoyed all the fuss and attention they were given, and if we gave each child something good to remember about their stay in hospital then as far as I am concerned it is mission accomplished.”

Zoe Parton, Hospital Play Specialist, said: “It was lovely to have EJ and Rookie on the ward, as it encouraged the children to get out of their beds and interact with them. It also brought a smile to their faces as they watched the dogs undertake a number of tasks, such as picking up keys and getting a hat out of a bag. We would love to have them back again.”

For further information please contact:

Jonathan Dack, Communications and Media Officer, on 01493 452269 Email: jonathan.dack@jpaget.nhs.uk
Ann Filby, Head of Communications, Engagement & Foundation, on 01493 452162
Email: ann.filby@jpaget.nhs.uk