Pets As Therapy (PAT) is a national charity, founded in 1983.
It is unique in that it facilitates the provision of therapeutic visits to hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes by volunteers with their own friendly, temperament-tested and vaccinated dogs.
Since its inception, more than 12,000 dogs have been registered for the scheme and more recently some cats.
Every year some of these retire and new dogs, which have first been examined by a vet and passed on both health and stability grounds, join in this charitable work.
Today there are currently around 4,000 active PAT visiting dogs at work in the UK. Every week these calm, friendly dogs give more than 100,000 people, both young and old, the chance to stroke and talk to them.
"Many elderly people have to give up much loved pets to go into institutions. This can cause distress and even lead to severe depression. You only have to see the faces light up when we arrive to know that it's doing people good."
Lesley Scott-Ordish, Founder of Pets As Therapy