Power to the pooches

Cen Owen, Contract Liaison Manager for SEPD has a big heart when it comes to helping out in his local community. 

He currently dedicates at least one day a month to volunteering in and around Newbridge, Wales where he lives with his pet Dobermans Ozzy and Jake. 

As well as  helping at his local church or the elderly with general assistance such as gardening and DIY, his dogs also perform a special role through Pets as Therapy (PAT) scheme, which involves visits to hospitals, special needs centres, nursing and care homes.

Dogs registered under PAT have been examined and passed on health, temperament, suitability and stability grounds. 

Cen said: “I’ve been volunteering in my local community for 9years, ever since my Nan died as I used to visit her in hospital with my dogs.  

“I get a lot of enjoyment from giving something back to the community and seeing people happy. It can be anything from lending a hand with odd jobs, assisting at fundraisers or simply seeing people enjoy my dogs as much as I do.

“Ozzy is now 3 years old and is a registered PAT dog. He’s an old hand now and a keen mentor for young Jake who is only 8 months old and is in training to become a PAT dog.

“I’m a huge supporter of the Pets as Therapy scheme. I believe it brings something extra special to people’s lives who may be living away from home and missing the camaraderie and enjoyment the company of a dog or cat brings.”

There are currently around 4,500 active PAT dogs and 108 PAT cats across the UK giving more than 130,000 people, both young and old, a chance to enjoy their company.

You can find out more about Pets as Therapy (PAT) charity by visiting www.petsastherapy.org

For more information on SSE’s volunteering and match funding scheme, Be the difference please click here