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Community and mental health services for Southampton, Portsmouth and parts of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.


Casper the friendly therapy dog nominated for national award

Solent’s own therapy dog, Casper has been nominated for the ‘Hero Dog’ award at the prestigious national canine event, Crufts. He received a nomination by his therapy dog charity ‘Canine Concern’ following his owner, Polly, receiving a devastating cancer diagnosis in July 2022.

The annual Kennel Club award celebrates the unique relationship people have with their dogs, the important role man’s best friend plays throughout our lives and the support they give in the face of adversity.

Polly explains: “I have endured some very hefty treatment over the last 18 months, including: chemotherapy, surgeries, radiotherapy and immunotherapy. During this time, Casper became my therapy dog at home, as well as continuing to offer support and comfort to others.”

“He has visited both the Maggie’s and Macmillan Centres at University Hospital Southampton (UHS) with me when I was receiving my treatment. I was also able to take him into Hamwic House to meet other oncology patients going through similar treatments. He always brings a smile to everyone he meets, even in such difficult times.

“I have recently returned to work and hope that Casper and I will be able to pick off where he left off before I came poorly.”

Casper began volunteering with the Community Children’s Nursing Team in 2020 and visits the children in their homes to provide a distraction from the nursing procedures. Prior to this, he worked in the Covid-19 vaccination hubs and provided help for children and adults who had a phobia of needles.

Crufts will be taking place between 7-10 March 2024 at The NEC in Birmingham and Casper will be in attendance to represent his Therapy Dog charity.

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Highpoint Venue
Bursledon Road
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