Dog lovers, listen up!


There is an animal-assisted therapy now running in a popup cafe in Manchester and anyone who has a lovable hound is being encouraged to come along. 


Basically, dog owners are being asked to pop along with their pets to support people who are struggling with their mental health.


The cafe, called Paints And Paws Pop Inn, is run by Sharon Hall, who found that having a puppy helped her cope with the loss of her parents. 


No one can argue that cuddling an adorable little dog doesn't make them feel better when they're sad, can they?  


The 54-year-old owner is a former psychiatric nurse who uses animal-assisted therapy on patients who begin to bond with the animals and as a result, they begin to open up about their problems. 


Included in the sessions are Sid and Nancy, two rescue rabbits, as well as rats, snails and hamsters, and classes making toys for pets.


Sharon says, ''that's the beauty of this work. The connection you get with an animal depends on you. And then that connection builds a bridge to start interacting with things and people around you.''

''It's a great way for people to do their bit for their community too if they bring their own dogs. They get the satisfaction of knowing they have ‘shared’ their pet with someone who appreciates it, and in turn that has benefits for all involved,'' she continued. 



Vicky Lea, a  reablement team leader at Manchester City Council, paid a visit to the Pop Inn session with her own dog, an 11-year-old Shih Tzu called Chunkus.


''Sessions like this really help people with their confidence and making friends again, which has a major impact on self-esteem,'' she said. 


In the words of Sharon Hall,  ''animals, community, art, all brought together in a safe space, where you can bring your dog and enjoy a brew and a bit of home-made cake. What could be better?''


We think it's a wonderful idea -  well done to all involved!