A care home in Leatherhead appointed a much-loved dog to an official position recently.

Red the dog, an eight-month-old cocker spaniel who has been visiting Milner House Care Home in Leatherhead in recent weeks, will now take on her key role in the care team full-time — visiting five days a week as a way of providing pet therapy for residents.

Red is the dog of the Home Manager Joe Patterson.

Mr Patterson said that he had assumed scepticism about integrating the dog into the care home team full time.

Nevertheless, the results according to the staff and residents at Milner House have been overwhelmingly positive.

"When I announced that we would be taking on a canine relations manager, I’m sure people thought I was barking mad, but Red has been such a wonderful addition to the Milner House family ever since she was a puppy that we thought it was about time she officially became one of the team.

"We know just how beneficial animal therapy can be for older people – especially for those living with dementia.

"Being close to animals can help lift a person’s mood, stimulate social interaction and ease agitation – and Red is brilliant at doing just that!"

In her new role Red will spend much of her time patrolling the home to ensure everything is in order, and keeps residents entertained.

Her appointment is "already having a very positive effect on residents and their wellbeing," Milner House said.

For more information, you can email customer relations manager, Beverly Jordan, at Beverly.Jordan@careuk.com, or call 01372 278 922.