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It’s not often you see dogs in hospital, but this wee floofball Tiny (6) and Mum Cathy, a retired veterinarian, started volunteering at Wellington Regional Hospital in late 2022. Every week this sweet duo visit some of the oldest and the youngest patients in our hospitals, visiting Ward 3’s Acute Frailty Unit as well as Te Wao Nui children’s hospital.

Whether it’s fragile seniors or sick tamariki, Cathy explains that the best part of volunteering in the hospital was watching people light up when Tiny trots into a room. Pet Therapy animals are a very special breed and studies show that visits from our Canine Friends help to reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure and promote an overall positive sense of well-being, which ultimately helps improve health outcomes for patients.

And it’s not only patients, staff also love it when Tiny visits and in a happy coincidence Tiny met one of his litter-mates after a hospital staffer noticed the resemblance.

Thank you Cathy and Tiny, and to all of our dedicated volunteers. We are so fortunate to have a team of more than 400 volunteers, who generously choose to gift their time and talents to help our hospitals in many different ways each week. We couldn’t do it without you! If you are interested in becoming a hospital volunteer please visit HERE.