Gus brings smiles to sick kids

July 6, 2017

The Animal Hospital staff meet Gus, the new Director of Hugs and Pats

The Animal Hospital at Murdoch University is enriching the lives of sick children and their families by looking after the wellbeing of Ronald McDonald House resident dog, Gus.

In a new partnership, The Animal Hospital is providing health care for Gus, also affectionately known as "Director of Hugs and Pats".

The adorable black labrador, previously a guide dog in training, now plays, sleeps and lives at Ronald McDonald House, bringing much joy to young residents.

Ronald McDonald House is home away from home offering accommodation for regional Western Australian families who must travel more than 100 kilometres for their sick child to receive hospital treatment in Perth.

The Animal Hospital practice manager Warren Timpson said his team would provide Gus with veterinary care, food, treats and advice for his handlers.

“This is a wonder partnership for The Animal Hospital to be involved with as it brings together children and animals at a stressful time in their lives,” Warren said.

“Gus provides emotional support for the children and of course plenty of hugs and love to share around.

“Gus has been a shining light for the children, ensuring their days are just a little bit brighter. There are always a large number of children and families wanting to see Gus.”

Ronald McDonald House executive Officer, Peter King, said Gus had been a welcome addition to the team.

“Staff, volunteers and especially the families really enjoy having Gus around and he has made quite an impact,” Peter said.

“For families who have had to uproot their lives, leaving their home and pets to treat their child’s illness, Gus provides that feeling of home.”

Ronald McDonald House will be styling Gus with a coat he will wear at all official Ronald McDonald House engagements.

For enquiries about sponsoring Gus or for information on how to book in a meeting with him, please contact Ronald McDonald House Perth on 08 9346 9000.

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Media contact: Luke McManus
Tel: (08) 9360 2491  |  Mobile: 0400 297 221  |  Email: L.McManus@murdoch.edu.au
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