Welcome to the latest R.I.S.E. Pets’ Corner, our editor’s favourite feature each and every issue! We hope you enjoy the cute wellbeing boost from these furry animal friends.


Buster is a 13-year-old cuddle monster, who likes a lot of attention. He always seems to be there when I am feeling upset or stressed. Buster is a very large cat with an equally large meow. He is happy to be stroked by anyone, even plonking himself on the laps of people who claim not to like cats! He makes my house a home.

Submitted by Kat Cauchi – NetSupport

Buster - cat


Gus - dog



Gus has already had an incredibly positive impact on the children and the staff at Woodlands. He is loved by everybody! He has brought the school together by all being engaged in projects about him. It gives us all a sense of pride. The children and staff talk about Gus to their friends and families. We are proud of our school and proud of Gus.

Submitted by Dr Victoria Carr – Woodlands Primary School

Betsy, Treacle, Willow and Elsie

The dogs have been instrumental in several ways. In one school, it helped a selective mute start to talk in the school setting. They have been used to support bereavements and with some children who have complex needs, to reduce the number of anger outbursts or de-escalate potentially tricky behaviours. The dogs have also helped individuals with improving their attendance, reading and phonics.

Submitted by Julie Carson – Woodland Academy Trust

Betsy - dog


Willow - dog


Treacle - dog


Elsie - dog


Trixie - dog



The children are always excited to see Trixie, she is so gentle and calm and they love to read to her. It’s a really special treat to hold her lead and walk her to her reading nook.

Submitted by Karen Court – Chalfont St Giles Village School


Moose started with our provision at 8 weeks old and is now 8 months. He has been such a wellbeing boost for staff and students. If students are off-site, the behaviour team will go to see them with Moose; if a student is upset, they can take Moose for a walk, and he is also used in reading interventions. Just 10 minutes with an animal drops your cortisol levels and reduces stress, thus enabling better learning and retention.

Submitted by Christine Dehnel – Stephenson Academy

Moose - dog


Basil, Waffle, Ferdi, Muffin, Flash and Calloway

I’ve always maintained my pooches have a huge and positive impact on my wellbeing and are a great distraction from work… or it could just be that they always agree with me. Ferdi loves to come into the office and spread some love to anyone who’s willing to exchange for a treat. Tortoises Flash and Calloway slowly keep the garden trimmed and epitomise taking life at a more relaxed pace, and finally, good old (20 years old, to be precise) Muffin is my daughter’s cat. We have a very fragile agreement of keeping our distance, but it works.

Submitted by Al Kingsley – NetSupport

Basil - dog


Ferdi - dog


Waffles - dog


Muffin - cat
Flash and Calloway - tortoises

Flash and Calloway

Pippa - dog



We introduced Pippa, our cockapoo, to school life when she was 12 weeks old. From the minute she arrived, she was an integral part of our school. The impact of having a school dog has been incredible. Teachers also use Pip in the curriculum: senses lessons involve hiding treats and watching Pippa try to sniff them out, forest school is enhanced by a doggy visitor, and poems are read and written about her!

Submitted by Jacq Maynard – New Moston Primary School

Hugo - dog


Piper - cat



Rabbit 2

Henry - cat






Hugo, Henry, Piper and the rabbits and chickens

At Boothroyd Primary Academy, we believe having a range of therapeutic animals on site not only supports the pupils to learn life skills by teaching them how to care and look after each one, but also enables our children to develop oracy skills by reading to and interacting with the animals regularly. Having animals has resulted in a positive impact on the whole school community’s wellbeing, including staff and parents.

Submitted by Kerry Williams-Kendall – Boothroyd Primary Academy

Eddie - dog


Ruby - dog


Eddie and Ruby

We love welcoming Ruby, our reading dog, and Eddie, our wellbeing dog, to Dogsthorpe Infants! Having the dogs in school has impacted on everyone’s wellbeing. The children are always asking about Eddie, and he loves to show off his tricks to them. Children adore reading to Ruby and having this
opportunity has developed their self-confidence. Eddie brings a smile to everyone’s face. They are important members of the staff team.

Submitted by Becky Waters – Dogsthorpe Infant School

Sid Barnett - dog

Sid Barnett

Sid Barnett

I’ve run SEMH units within schools, where the most vulnerable children have snuggled with Sid and cried on him. I’ve had countless children fall asleep in my office, curled up on the sofa with him. Dogs rock. They are always pleased to see you and, when you are feeling at your most vulnerable, they truly care. They also listen but don’t judge. Sid’s been featured in local newspapers and even had a double page spread!

Submitted by Erica Barnett – The Belsteads School

Want your pet featured? Email us your best pet photos!


  • Katherine Cauchi

    Kat Cauchi is a WeAreTechWomen #TechWomen100 2023 award winner and a 2022 Nexus Education 'Classroom and Curriculum' improvement award winner. She is the community engagement manager at NetSupport, editor of R.I.S.E. Magazine, and the host of two podcasts. Kat is a member of the Global Equality Collective, a Global EdTech author, InnovateHer ambassador and Technocamps Girls in Stem role model.
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