Positive Practice Awards
Positive Practice Awards

Sooty, the therapy pony

Best Pet Therapy Animal


The benefits of pet therapy are widely known, but Sooty, a miniature Shetland pony, has truly broken the therapy animal mould!

Sooty the miniature Shetland pony is a regular visitor to the wards at Langley Green Hospital in Crawley, and what an impact she’s had.

We believe that Langley Green is the first acute mental health hospital in the country to welcome a pony onto its wards.

She brings so much joy and laughter to patients, staff, and visitors and there are many therapeutic benefits to her visits. She helps to reduce stress and anxiety, lifts people’s moods and brings everyone together. 

The joy and excitement on everyone's faces is obvious. Some patients were so happy to see her that they were moved to tears. Staff also commented that there were patients who they had never seen smile before, and they were beaming. 

Her visits are so popular that patients living in the local community take time out to come to the hospital to see her. 

Sooty’s wonderful mum, Maxine, also deserves a special mention as she always has time to talk to patients and introduce them properly to Sooty during their visits.

Sooty even comes along to the Langley Green Christmas Party!

She received so many nominations, with one person commenting: ‘We love having Sooty to visit and we think this would be a lovely way of saying thank you; and possibly the first time ever that a pony could attend our awards ceremony!’

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