In The Media

Lets see what has been said about Critter Assisted Therapy in the media – initially Critterish Allsorts

Critterish Allsorts’ animal assisted therapy work – now known as Critter Assisted Therapy – has seen much media coverage over the years, all over the world. It has been featured in animal magazines both here and on the continent, and in the national newspapers. It has been discussed in detail and at length on American Radio, and has been featured in mental health journals. Our work has also featured in documentaries on mainstream TV – BBC, Channel 5 and most recently Channel 4’s “Educating Greater Manchester”.   Below we feature the best of them.

In addition we have also featured in Dr Daniel Allen’s book “The Nature Magpie” and had our therapy skunk, Stoosh, feature in national newspapers, magazines and a National Geographic book about Amazing Animals.


Critter Assisted Therapy in the Media 2012

October 2012 – Practical Reptile Keeping (UK)

Our work featured in a 3 page article in this hobbyist magazine, and discussed using reptiles as therapy animals. We are thought to be the only company in the UK using reptiles extensively in pet therapy sessions.

nac mag cover

November 2012 – N.A.C. Magazine (Europe – France)

Following on from the Practical Reptile Keeping feature, we were approached by a French based magazine putting together their very first edition, who wanted to also do a feature on our pet therapy work.

What followed was not only a SEVEN page feature on our work, but we also managed to make the front cover of the very first edition of a brand new animal magazine. This is Dan, with our boa constrictor Connie (a very popular animal at our therapy sessions).

voice america still

April 2013 – Voice America Radio (U.S.A.)

Following an exchange on Twitter we were asked by “Our Wild World” show host, and founder of conservation organisation “The WildIze Foundation” – Eli Weiss – if we would like to appear on her U.S. radio talk show. Naturally we were delighted !!

The one hour show features Dale Preece-Kelly in conversation with Eli, for an hour. During the show, Dale and Eli discussed the animal assisted therapy work of Critterish Allsorts.

To hear the show in full, then please click on the picture above, to be redirected to the station’s website

mht feature - aug 2013

Critter Assisted Therapy In The Media 2013

August 2013 – Mental Health Today (U.K.)

Mental Health Today is a journal for mental health professionals, to both improve the services they offer and keep up to date with new developments in treating mental health disorders.

We were asked to submit a feature for the magazine, superbly written by Dr Daniel Allen, with regard to using animals in pet therapy, that were different to the “usual” therapy animal.

To download the article in full, please click the link below :

Critterish Allsorts – Critter Assisted Therapy – Mental Health Today – August 2013

Our Wild World - VoiceAmerica - 30 Sep 13

September 2013 – Voice America Radio (U.S.A.)

“Wild Therapy With Dale Preece-Kelly” – Our Wild World on VoiceAmerica 30th Sept 2013

Following the show we did in April, host Eli Weiss, kept a close eye on our progress and when we launched Critter Assisted Therapy, she invited me back on the show, to talk more about the human – animal relationship.

In a second one hour discussion we exchanged views on the animals we use, why they are chosen by clients, why they work so well, how we go about selecting animals for therapy and more. The link will stay active for a good length of time (several months).

mht jan feb 2014

January 2014 – Mental Health Today Magazine (UK)

In another article written by Dr Daniel Allen, for Mental Health Today Magazine – a journal for mental health professionals, to both improve the services they offer and keep up to date with new developments in treating mental health disorders – he explains how we use a wide variety of species in our animal assisted therapy work.

We are beginning to prove to the professional medical community, that it is not just dogs, cats and rabbits that have therapeutic value, but that other species also have their place. Every person is unique in their choice of therapy animal, and every animal is unique in terms of the qualities they have to offer those people that they work with.

CritterBoxTV – Episode on “Commuter Pet Therapy” for Virgin Trains

In 2012, we worked with Virgin Trains, to provide pet therapy for commuters, in their station concourse, at Stafford Railway Station. This was very successful and popular with commuters. During the second visit, we filmed some of the activity for our online TV channel “CritterBoxTV”

August 2014 – BBC1 – BBCtv Documentary Series “Animal Saints & Sinners” Episode 14

In February 2014 the BBC visited Critterish Allsorts to film a feature piece for their upcoming, as yet unnamed, prime time Documentary Series about animals helping people. We were filmed on a day that we visited a care home in Stoke on Trent. This is the resulting piece – apologies for the quality, but it had to be filmed from the TV

4th February 2015 – Channel 5 – Channel 5 News

We were called into the Channel 5 News studios, as an expert in our field, to explain how animal assisted therapy works in light of a young girl who had been helped by her pet pony, after suffering a stroke. Stoosh & Dale travelled to the Channel 5 News studios in London City Centre to conduct the interview.

IMG_20150205_011423        IMG_20150205_011230



April 2015 – National Geographic Kids Magazine

A child friendly and brief article on animal assisted therapy, featuring us and our friends at Scales n Tails Animal Encounters.

2015 to 2020 – Various positive stories in the national press

August 2020 – Insider Times (Prison Newspaper)

This isn’t the first time since my last post, that our animal assisted therapy services have been featured in the media – we and our critters have featured in a number of magazines (such as Psychologies) and national newspapers (such as The Sun on Sunday), however I feel like this is an important article to share with you, due to the fact that we have been working in prisons weekly for the last 3 years.

Because of lockdown, we have not been able to work since March 2020 and it is unlikely that we will be allowed to recommence visits, until at least March 2021 (although this is governed by our clients – we are happy to return as soon as it is deemed safe to do so).

November 2020 – Educating Greater Manchester (Channel 4)

Filmed in March 2018, but delayed for broadcasting, due to a few issues, finally it was broadcast in November 2020 (Season 2, Episode 2).

Educating Greater Manchester – Finding support in therapy animals

Meet Beans, Bella & Sebastian. P.S They’re adorable ???

Posted by Channel 4 on Friday, 13 November 2020

We took 6 animals to Harrop Fold School – a school which takes pupils who have been expelled by all other schools and works with them, to give them a chance and never excludes them, regardless of their behaviour – and allowed a pupil to take responsibility for an animal for their entire school day.

We had “eyes” on the animals for the duration of this unique “social experiment”, to ensure their safety and welfare. All of the animals were well looked after by the pupils and the eventual resulting changes in the pupils behaviours were clear for all to see.

It was an emotional day and I was extremely proud of not only my animals, but also of how the pupils took to their responsibilities. The results were incredible. 6 months later, one of the pupils was still raving about her day with Sebastian, the chinchilla.

January 2021 – Royal Veterinary College (RVC One Newsletter)

We were interviewed about our work for the Royal Veterinary College student newsletter – RVC One Health.

The article is called “The Anecdote of the Unconventional Antidote”.

June 2022 – Steph’s Packed Lunch (Channel 4)

On 2nd June 2022, we were guests on Channel 4’s live daytime show, “Steph’s Packed Lunch”. We talked about the animal assisted therapy work we are doing in prisons and demonstrated with some of our more unusual therapy animals – Connie, the boa; Wubble, the frog; and Pinky, the salmon pink bird eating tarantula.

If you would like to watch, search for the episode on the All4 app and watch on catchup. The episode was broadcast on 2nd June 2022 and our piece is 30 minutes in (roughly). We were booked for a 6 minute slot, but they were so taken by what we were discussing, that we ended up doing 12 minutes instead (two 6 minute slots!).

June 2022 – Inside Time (UK National Prison Newspaper)

Due to our regular work in prisons (we have 10 on contract and another 4 on the waiting list) we now have a regular monthly column in the national prison newspaper – Inside Time – where we introduce the animal assisted therapy animals who work with us, to the prisoners who may meet them and tell their rescue stories. We have enough animals to keep going for around 5 years!