Leeds City College welcomes its newest recruit, Jeffrey the dog. The 12 week old Cockerpoo joins the college’s schools of Health Sciences, Childhood & Education and Public Services as a pet therapy animal. Jeffrey will be attending Puppy School on a weekly basis to become an accredited therapy dog and has already been supporting students.
Sheila Lucciarini, Head of Childcare and Public Services at Leeds City College, said: “Once Jeffrey is fully trained, we will register with UK animal charity, Pets as Therapy (PAT) to get approval for him to become a PAT visiting dog. We’ll then be able to visit care and educational settings to support others.
“Studies suggest that pets play an effective role in supporting the young and elderly and we’ll be conducting research into the impact Jeffrey has on our most vulnerable students and their achievement levels, especially those with autism and additional needs.
“We’ll be teaching our students the benefits therapy dogs have on those living with Dementia and Alzheimer's. It’s not uncommon to watch someone transition from emotionless to joyful when a pet enters the room.
“Dogs can also support cognitive behaviour to work with phobias and fears, along with counselling and mental health support for depression, anger management, behavioural issues, self harm and eating disorders.”
Leeds City College will be documenting Jeffrey’s progress and activity through a blog which will be published soon.