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Recovery assistance dog receives PDSA Commendation
Owner Liz Maitland says Milli's companionship has helped to drastically improve her mental health.

Cocker spaniel credited with saving owners life

A recovery assistance dog from Leicester, named Milli, has been awarded with a PDSA Commendation in recognition of her devotion and support of her owner.

Ten-year-old Milli has been with her owner Liz Maitland since she was a puppy. Ms Maitland says she has always struggled with her mental health, and was encouraged to adopt an animal companion after a particularly dark period in her life.

“I struck up an immediate bond with Milli, she made me feel at ease and I knew I now had someone who would always be there for me,” She said.

“I learned a lot about the benefits of recovery assistance dogs and I decided to train Milli to be one. Her presence keeps me calm and if I ever feel stressed or anxious, she makes me feel safe. Whenever I feel uncomfortable Milli will touch me for reassurance and put space between me and other people.

In 2004, Ms Maitland set up the charity RECOVERY Assistance Dogs (RAD), which works to provide training for dogs like Milli and raise awareness about the benefits of dog ownership for mental health and wellbeing.

Philip Shanks, client services manager, presented Milli with her PDSA Commendation at a special ceremony at Leicester PDSA Pet Hospital.

Mr Shanks commented: “The strong bonds between pets and people are well-documented. As well as providing companionship, our research shows they can play a crucial role in helping improve people’s mental health. Milli has been a constant source of comfort and safety, and I am delighted that their bond has inspired Liz to help other people who need support from companions like Milli.”

Image (c) PDSA.

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BEVA gives vets access to free membership for 3 months

News Story 1
 BEVA has announced that it is cutting membership renewal charges for the next three months in order to support all veterinary professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Memberships for all existing BEVA members will be extended until 30 June 2020. Veterinary professionals who are not members of BEVA will also be able to sign up for a free membership until 30 June 2020.

BEVA president Tim Mair said: "In this extraordinary time of global crisis our profession, as with many industries, is under immense pressure. By offering free membership we are giving equine vets easy access to a wealth of supportive resources and online CPD."

To sign up please visit the BEVA website.

Image (c) BEVA. 

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LOVE Gorgie Farm seeking veterinary volunteers

LOVE Gorgie Farm in Edinburgh is looking for people with veterinary and animal care experience, who would be interested in volunteering to help care for its animals during these difficult times.

The community-owned charity farm opened to the public only last month, but decided to close temporarily amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Its three-person team is working to care for the animals behind the scenes and the farm is now operating as a food bank for the public, delivering free breakfasts to local school children.

In an effort to build a contingency plan to secure the welfare of its animals, LOVE Gorgie Farm is looking for volunteers who would be able to step in if any team members fell sick or needed to self-isolate.

Those interested in volunteering are asked to contact gorgie@l-o-v-e.org.uk