Benton Park NE7

Benton Park Primary School

Celebrating the success and achievements of everyone in our community

Meet Shelby

Shelby is a retired greyhound who comes to school, with her owner Melanie, to work with children. She is lovely and the children always look forward to her visit!


Why does she come?

She comes to school for two reasons; as a reading and a therapy dog. She is fully trained up! She is always with her owner and a member of school staff. 

 Pets as Therapy

The primary aim of Pets As Therapy is to bring regular animal companionship and comfort to patients/residents in hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, schools and other establishments by means of visits from volunteers and their registered temperament-tested pets.

Since the start of the Pets As Therapy journey in 1983, over 26,000 dogs have been registered with us. Every year some of these retire and new dogs and cats, having first passed our assessment on health, temperament, suitability and stability grounds, join us to become, with their owner, a proud ‘PAT Team’.

Launched in 2010, Read2Dogs is a scheme developed to help children gain confidence in reading.

Some school children find reading in front of their classmates and teacher daunting and can become nervous and stressed, however when a PAT Dog enters the group, they often become less stressed and self-conscious, relaxing as the dogs are non-judgemental. PAT Dogs provide comfort, encourage positive social behaviours, enhance self-esteem, motivate speech and inspire young people to have fun. It has been proven to help children gain confidence and they enjoy and benefit greatly from the reading experience.