Torbridge Vets (www.torbridgevets.co.uk), which have four veterinary surgeries across North Devon, are pleased to announce their sponsorship of Dogs Helping Kids (www.dogshelpingkids.co.uk). This unique, local charity is dedicated to using highly trained dogs to help teach children non-violence, empathy, respect, kindness, love, responsibility, friendship and trust. As Torbridge specialise in caring for pets, this is an ideal partnership.
Dogs Helping Kids aim to educate, help and support children and teenagers of all ages, backgrounds, sexes and abilities, using very special dogs. These animals are trained to an incredibly high standard, before going into schools, colleges and libraries, to assist with education and therapy.
Charity founder Tracey Berridge is working hard to raise the profile of the charity. Recently she, one of the trustees, a very helpful volunteer, and Teazel (one of the charities top School Dogs) with her owner Gail Laurence, visited the House of Commons in London, to demonstrate the dogs’ skills, discuss the charity’s works and its ambitions for the future. Tracey says: “The House of Commons was amazing and Teazel in particular did the charity proud. She is one of our School Dogs that can read flash cards and she bowled people over with her demonstrations! But after so much preparation, the whole thing seemed to be over very quickly. However, it all went really well, we met some key people and managed to take loads of photos, which you can now see on our Dogs Helping Kids website.”
She continued: “The impact these special animals have can be enormous. Academic research has shown that dogs in the school environment can improve academic achievement and motivation – including literacy – promotes calm behavior, improve social skills and self esteem, and teach responsibility and respect.”
Teazel’s very proud owner Gail talks fondly of her pet: “I kept home-bred Teazel, who is a Labradoodle, just as I was diagnosed with cancer and only had four months to train her before surgery. On my return from hospital, Teazel seemed to know something was different. She is the most gentle, loving dog ever. She loves people and is very respectful of children. She really enjoys Agility, visiting elderly people in local care homes (she is registered P.A.T. dog), but also laying on the sofa for cuddles! Teazel has passed the Kennel Club Good Citizen Award Bronze and Silver and is now a Visiting School Dog and an Educational School Dog, working in Southmead Primary School, Braunton.”
Torbridge Vets are proud that they will partner Dogs Helping Kids in working towards the charity’s aim of a dog in every school and library in the United Kingdom. At the same time they will help promote the positive role that dogs have in society, and in children’s lives. Veterinary Director of Torbridge Bill Slee says: “Much research has concluded that contact with pets reduces stress levels and when this beneficial effect is coupled with expert, intensive training of exceptionally intelligent dogs, the results are outstanding. We are delighted to become sponsors of Dogs Helping Kids and encourage other local businesses to consider doing the same. The charity is undertaking sterling work with proven outcomes, but to continue – and indeed grow – it needs funds. To this end, beginning in January, Torbridge Vets will begin an initiative where every canine vaccination will generate a £1 donation to DHK.”
To talk to Tracey Berridge about sponsorship, please email her at