Volunteering with Doctor Pets to Elate the Elderly
Our Hong Kong volunteers teamed up with a squad of Doctor Pets to bring warmth and joy to the elderly in an elderly centre.
As a charitable organisation registered in Hong Kong and Macau, Doctor Pet is formed by a group of animal-loving volunteers who strive to promote pet therapy that brings health benefits to patients and other needy groups. Each qualified Doctor Pet must pass tests that access their physical and mental health, temperament, and ability of self-control before they are eligible to volunteer.
WSP’s Hong Kong office partnered with Doctor Pet and The Neighbourhood Advice-Action Council (NAAC) for a meaningful CSR programme to serve the elderly. Before the visit, our volunteers made the acquaintance of the Doctor Pets – five dogs and one cat on 28 October in the office. They were introduced to the background, characteristics and skills of the pets in advance by the pet owners.
On 5 November, our volunteers joined the six Doctor Pets and their owners to visit the NAAC Shamshuipo District Elderly Community Centre in Shek Kip Mei. The pets showed their talent, such as shaking hands, playing dead, spinning, balancing a treat on their nose and catching a ball, to bring both physiological and psychological healing to the audience. What’s more, all participants could pat, cuddle and play with the tame and well-behaved pets without fear at all. Apart from Doctor Pets’ ‘treatment session’, our volunteers also had some mini activities with the elderly including flapping exercise and some fun team games. The elderly enjoyed the activities very much and received a gift pack of daily necessities at the end of the visit.
This meaningful visit has proven that not only human interactions are effective in bringing happiness to others, so are human-animal interactions that also hold the power of healing.
WSP keeps in mind that how we design the community holds the key to determine how we live with our family, friends and even pets. We will endeavour to build harmonious and friendly living environments to augment the overall happiness and health of everyone that interacts with the community.
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