The Petspiration Foundation will form a partnership with Victorian charity Very Special Kids to sponsor the charity’s beloved therapy dog, Jaffa. 

Kristy Blair, Hospice Manager at Very Special Kids, says the therapy dog program is critical in providing children and young people with life-limiting conditions the best quality of life possible during their palliative care journey and that the new funding will allow Jaffa to continue that good work.

“Therapy dogs, like Jaffa, help to create a relaxed environment in the hospice so children and young people can feel comfortable, settled and supported. She not only provides physical comfort to assist children in regulating their emotions when adapting to new and unfamiliar situations, but her interventions also provide pure joy,” says Blair.  

“Jaffa has also provided much-needed support to the children and families in our care throughout their end-of-life journey. 

“The benefits of Very Special Kids’ therapy dog program extend beyond providing comfort to these children – inspiring moments of happiness and lasting memories – that their siblings, parents, and extended family members can hold onto forever,” she said. 

Sherralea Cassidy, Charity and Events Lead at The Petspiration Foundation, says the partnership will fund all resourcing costs to enable ongoing training and placement of therapy dog Jaffa with Very Special Kids. 

“There are so many ways that animals can improve people’s lives and we are proud to be able to support like-minded organisations like Very Special Kids, and recognise the incredible work they have already carried out to make a positive impact on the lives of 850 families across Victoria.

“Providing emotional and physical support through pets is extremely powerful, and we know Jaffa, leading the therapy dog program, will be able to help provide even more seriously ill children and their families with the support they need in the future,” says Cassidy.  

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