Patient story

Care through Animals

At St Wilfrid’s Hospice, we have seen a wide range of animals come through our doors to surprise and brighten our patients and their loved ones faces. It’s lovely to be able to transform an otherwise normal day into something families will cherish forever.

Pawed Pals

Our most common visitor, is by no surprise, dogs!

From a litter of puppies, to therapy dogs we have seen a wide range of pawed pals come into the Hospice, always making everyone’s day. Having a dog to sit with you and keep you company is a wonderful way for patients and their loved ones to feel calmer and enjoy moments together.

Employees around the Hospice love getting to welcome the furry friends into their offices as well.

“It was so touching that someone could do that, it makes you emotional that someone can give you hope.”Alison, a patient who was surprised with several puppies.

Hospice Hooves

A more surprising animal we have seen visit is a Pony!

Tony the Pony came to visit in 2023, meeting some of our horse-loving patients who were incredibly moved by his arrival. He was an incredibly calm Pony, more than happy to poke his head through doors for a head scratch. We were also able to move some beds outside for the patients to enjoy a much more up-close chat with Tony and his owners.

“Arranging for ‘Tony the pony’ to visit Mum is an incredibly kind & thoughtful gesture so I’ll always be eternally grateful for all that you & your team have done & continue to do for her.– A loved one

Little Lambs

We’ve also had the wonderful experience of lambs coming into the Hospice to meet our patients.

Exploring our wonderful gardens, and meeting our patients, the lambs even had our Doctors coming out to say a quick hello to their little wooly faces.

“It was a real joy. We had one patient with the little black lamb laying across on his bed falling asleep.” – A staff member

Bouncy Visitors

On New Year’s Eve of 2023, we were hopping with excitement at a visit from some rabbits!

While they may not be your first pick for a festive surprise, these fluffy-eared visitors were adored by all our patients, who loved having them rest on their laps.

“It lit up our New Years Eve.” – A Patient


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