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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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Veterinary Evidence Student Awards winners revealed

News Story 1
 The first winners of the RCVS Knowledge Veterinary Evidence Student Awards have been revealed.

Molly Vasanthakumar scooped first prize for her knowledge summary comparing the ecological impact of woven versus disposable drapes. She found that there is not enough evidence that disposable synthetics reduce the risk of surgical site.

Second prize went to Honoria Brown of the University of Cambridge, for her paper: ‘Can hoof wall temperature and digital pulse pressure be used as sensitive non-invasive diagnostic indicators of acute laminitis onset?’

Edinburgh’s Jacqueline Oi Ping Tong won third prize for critically appraising the evidence for whether a daily probiotic improved clinical outcomes in dogs with idiopathic diarrhoea. The papers have all achieved publication in RCVS Knowledge’s peer-reviewed journal, Veterinary Evidence.  

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News Shorts
Animal Welfare Foundation seeks new trustees

The Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) seeks three new trustees to help drive the charity’s mission to improve animal welfare through veterinary science, education and debate.

Veterinary and animal welfare professionals from across the UK may apply, particularly those with experience in equine and small animal practice and research management. Trustees must attend at least two meetings a year, as well as the annual AWF Discussion Forum in London.

For more information about the role, visit www.animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk. Applications close at midnight on 13 August 2019.