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BETTY the black Labrador paid a visit to care home residents as part of a scheme to bring the benefits of pet ownership to the elderly.

Ingleby Care Home, in Ingleby Barwick, Stockton-on-Tees, was the latest to receive a visit by Wag and Company North East Friendship Dogs.

The charity organises visits from professionally assessed volunteers and their dogs into care settings.

Residents at Ingleby Care Home enjoyed meeting Betty for the first time – with ongoing visits planned.

One of those, Leah Walton said: “What a gorgeous dog. Labradors are my favourite. I would’ve liked to have kept Betty.”

Another resident, Ivy Thompson said: “I used to have a dog just like Betty.”

The North East is a region of dog lovers, according to Wag and Co. having the highest rate of dog owning households in the UK, at 36%.

Carol Singleton, home manager at Ingleby Care Home, on Lamb Lane, said: “The ladies at the home thought Betty was absolutely lovely and thoroughly enjoyed meeting her for the first time.

“Animal therapy sessions have proven benefits for the elderly, helping to reduce feelings of loneliness, depression and anxiety.

“Everyone loves patting a friendly dog and the smiles it brought to our residents’ faces are testament to the power of these sessions. We can’t wait for the next visit.”

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