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  • ​​​"My mother had a severe stroke in March 2012. She received extensive physio, occupational and speech therapy sessions as part of her rehabilitation whilst in hospital, but the highlight for her was the Animal Assisted Therapy that she had once a week.  At the first pet therapy session mum had very limited movement in her right side and her speech was quite hard to understand most of the time, she was also very up and down with mood swings.  The improvement was immediate, she was smiling and she tried so hard with the exercises that were asked, stroking and brushing the dog and just to see her look happy was fantastic.  Mum had a number of sessions and her mental and physical improvement was quite remarkable, she so looked forward to the sessions, it was the highlight of her week and it got her wanting to do things that in an ordinary setting she may have been reluctant to do." ​​
    • Pamela Cliff (patient) & Karen Pressland (daughter of patient)
 


  • "From my perspective, as Pam’s daughter, this is such an invaluable service as I have witnessed not only to stroke victims, but also for people with other physical and mental conditions.  When mum was in the Acute Stroke Unit we were told that her chances of recovering mobility, speech and any kind of independence were highly unlikely but here we are in August 2013 and she lives at home with carers visiting to assist with washing and cooking, she is fully mobile with a walker and stair lift and also fully regained her speech and writing abilities.  I will never forget how a huge part of her recovery was helped by the Animal Assisted Therapy sessions."
    • Pamela Cliff (patient) & Karen Pressland (daughter of patient)
  • "Therapy with animals provides a fantastic opportunity for patients to work towards therapy goals in a way that is motivating, engaging and fun. The animals involved in the therapy sessions are gentle, patient and intuitively give the stroke survivor both the support and space they need to develop confidence in regaining skills."  
    • Louise Lim, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist.


  • “I worked with Sallie on a Stroke Rehab. Unit, when I was a practising Speech and Language Therapist.  It was an eye-opening experience, seeing how stroke survivors benefited from Sallie’s knowledge and enthusiasm, achieving gains in their communication skills and enriching their quality of life.  I wish Sallie much success with this life-enhancing project and would commend it to stroke survivors and their carers.”
    • Robin Goldsmith (former NHS Speech & Language Therapist)​​​
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  • ​​I have found positive effects from using Animal Assisted Therapy with stroke patients; the benefits have included increased motivation and engagement in sessions; it can be utilised to aid postural control in sitting and standing and encourages attention to the affected side of the body."​​  
    • Claudia Canova, Neurological Physiotherapist
  • I found that Animal Assisted Therapy was an enjoyable and creative way to work with service users towards meeting their rehabilitation goals.  I found if can be used in a number of ways, from encouraging function in an affected limb, to encouraging a service user to attend to a neglected side.   
    • Jenny Salomon, Occupational Therapist                                                                                                                                                                 ​
  • I have been working in the stroke rehabilitation unit for the past four years, and in my experience stroke survivors respond well and engage better with Animal Assisted Therapy.  Benefits noted are improvements in motivation and concentration.  Many of our stroke patients also have speech difficulties and Animal Assisted Therapy can be of great help to improve communication skills and reduce anxiety​.                                              
    • Dr. Karima Motam, Staff Grade doctor                                          

 


  • My mother Bapsy suffered a catastrophic stroke in August 2014. The only intervention that has been an unequivocal success has been the pet assisted therapy. The bond between her and the animals is like no other and similarly her participation and level of engagement are unparalleled. My heartfelt thanks go to Sallie Bollans (Stroke Rehab Dogs), the Ruth Winston centre that hosts us, our volunteers and the therapy dogs.    Farhad Cooper.