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Dog employed as therapist at Bromley school
Charlie, who is in year eight, lost his mum last year and in the week after she passed away he would arrive at school early every day to see Selkie.

Selkie helps students through difficult times 

A head teacher’s pet dog has become an honorary member of the teaching staff at Bickley Park School in Bromley, after showing promise as a therapy dog.

Four-year-old Labrador Selkie helps children who suffer from cynophobia, or fear of dogs, and acts as a talking therapy provider for those who need extra help in difficult times.

Charlie, who is in year eight, lost his mum last year and in the week after she passed away he would arrive at school early every day to see Selkie.

He says he found her very calming and liked the way she treated him as a special friend - whenever he feels down she is always waiting in the office for him.

Patrick Wenham, head teacher at Bickley Park School, said: “Dogs are often referred to as man’s best friend but for those who have a genuine fear of encountering them, life can be very difficult.

“Selkie has always been heavily involved in the school community, and having her present is proving invaluable for those who have a fear to overcome or those that just need to trust someone who won’t pass judgement.

“Research has shown that stroking animals has a positive effect on mood, and can help relax and soothe people.  Selkie is a very calm, good-natured dog who is happy to take the role of pupil therapist.  She is looking forward to helping more children in any way she can.”

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Endangered turtles rescued from smugglers

News Story 1
 A group of endangered turtles have found a new home at London Zoo after being rescued from smugglers.

The four big-headed turtles arrived at the zoo at the end of last year, after smugglers tried to illegally import them to Canada, labelled as toys.

One of the turtles, named Lady Triệu after a Vietnamese warrioress, has moved to a new exhibit in the zoo’s reptile house. She is the only one of her kind in a UK zoo.

Big-headed turtles have such large heads that they cannot pull them back into their shells. To compensate, they have armour plating from head to tail and a very sharp beak to fend off predators. They are ranked number 18 on ZSL’s EDGE of Existence reptile list, which puts threatened species at the forefront of conservation action. Image © ZSL  

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RCVS Fellowship board chair elections get underway

Voting for the 2019 RCVS Fellowship Chair election is now underway. This year four candidates are standing for election, including Dr Robert Huey, Professor John Innes, Professor Liz Mossop and Professor Ian Ramsey.

The Chair will attend and preside over Fellowship meetings and take the lead in consolidating the Fellowship’s position as the learned society of the RCVS. Fellows will receive an email containing a link to the online voting form, as well as candidates’ details and manifestos. Voting closes at 5pm on Thursday, 5 September.