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Pet Therapy pup steals the hearts of residents

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Did you know over 20,000 Australians enjoy a visit from a therapy dog each week?

From kids in hospital to residents in aged care homes, anxious uni students, and stressed office workers - every day around our nation lives are being uplifted by hard working canines who enjoy every moment of being a therapy dog.

Now we can celebrate these beautiful dogs in September with the launch of Therapy Dog Awareness Month!

Dogs like Biscuit, a shaggy-golden cavoodle and also a Catholic Healthcare staff member’s dog. Biscuit felt the love of all 93 residents in St Peter’s Aged Care home at Lane Cove North when she first visited nearly four years ago. Since that first visit, Biscuit has accompanied her owner, Lisa Siri to her place of work up to three times a week where she joins the residents in their various activities.

The three-year-old pup has “truly brought a new kind of atmosphere to St Peter’s” says Lisa, who works as the St Peter’s Administration Coordinator alongside caring for Biscuit.

“The residents just love her – it really brings a smile to their faces.”

The Animal Welfare League of Australia support Lisa’s observation, by reporting that “pets provide one of the few interventions capable of permanently lifting the atmosphere of hospices and nursing homes.”

Varying research also shows that having animals around, particularly in an aged care environment, can result in elevated mood, reduced stress levels, improved communication and even decreased blood pressure for residents.

Biscuit’s popularity in the home has now expanded to the wider community; she now has more than 2,251 followers on Instagram and her reach is growing daily.

“I love that we can bring happiness to people with Biscuit,” says Lisa. “It really shows the impact that pet therapy can have on people.”

@biscuitthebachelorette posts updates weekly of her ventures. Follow her for more puppy pictures and pet therapy news.