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Surfing therapy dog inspires in viral video
Ricochet inspired the concept of canine-assisted surf therapy after taking part in a fundraiser for Patrick Ivison, who is quadriplegic.

Ricochet helps to calm fears and anxieties during social distancing

A therapy dog named Ricochet has been providing comfort to people in need from a distance during the COVID-19 pandemic, through the re-circulation of a viral video that shows her journey from puppyhood to therapy dog.

The video shows the process of Ricochet’s training, which began when she was a puppy, as well as how she inspired the original concept of canine-assisted surf therapy in 2009, after taking part in a fundraiser for Patrick Ivison, who is quadriplegic. The inspiring video now has more than 6.6 million views on YouTube.

More than ten years later, Ricochet is now a certified goal-directed therapy dog and has surfed with hundreds of children and adults with different disabilities, as well as wounded soldiers and veterans with PTSD.

Therapy dogs can be invaluable in a crisis, providing comfort and support to people who need it most. But social distancing measures, which are necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19, have unfortunately resulted in the suspension of many animal assisted therapy programmes. Non-profit organisation Puppy Prodigies, which Ricochet is a part of, hopes that this video can help inspire people in these difficult times.

Puppy Prodigies runs initiatives that utilise service, therapy and emotional support dogs in an effort to empower people with disabilities, children with special needs and veterans.

Executive director Judy Fridono, who is also Ricochet’s guardian, said: "At a time where dogs could be a great valuable resource, we are thinking outside the box in an effort to provide some form of canine therapy to the millions of people around the world who need it.”

Image (c) Puppy Prodigies.

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The Kennel Club appoints new chief executive

News Story 1
 The Kennel Club has announced the appointment of Mark Beazley, who was previously Cats Protection's director of operations, as chief executive. Mark replaces Rosemary Smart, who stepped down from the role in April after 18 years.

Mark has held several senior strategic and executive roles, including executive director at Dogs Trust Ireland and chair of the Companion Animal Working Group at Eurogroup for Animals. He was also heavily involved in the establishment of the Eu Cat and Dog Alliance.

Mark will take up his new role in October. 

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International Cat Care appoints new head of veterinary division

International Cat Care (ICC) has announced the appointment of Nathalie Dowgray as head of the charity's veterinary division.

Nathalie, who is an RCVS advanced practitioner in feline medicine, will lead the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) and a play key role in advancing knowledge and research in feline medicine.

Claire Bessant, iCatCare's chief executive said: "We're absolutely delighted to be welcoming Nathalie to the charity. She brings a depth and breadth of feline expertise and understanding which fits perfectly with the charity's work and development, and her enthusiasm for cats is infectious."