Pets have become a major part of family life. Now, a pregnant woman was allowed to take her dog to the hospital to help the woman throughout the birth. The maternity ward at St. Michael’s Hospital, in England, allowed the woman to take her dog, inside the delivery room, “because it is a certified therapy dog.”
The presence of the dog was discussed and agreed upon in advance, with the hospital’s infection control team giving their approval that it could be in the room during labor as therapy for the woman. A thorough cleaning of the delivery room was done after the dog, named Barney, left. Head of midwifery at St. Michael’s Hospital, Sarah Windfeld, said: “Barney is a certified Pets as Therapy or PAT dog, and it regularly visits patients in the hospital.”
Pets as Therapy, is a charity founded in 1983. Volunteers take their own friendly dogs and cats, who have been tested and vaccinated, to visit hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, schools and more to provide therapeutic visits for those in need.
To date, there are about 4,500 active dogs and 108 cats in the Pets as Therapy program, in the United Kingdom. Each week, these calm friendly dogs and cats give more than 130,000 people, both young and old, the pleasure and opportunity to hug and talk to them.