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FOUR PAWS: Stray dogs help children with disabilities

FOUR PAWS founder and president Heli Dungler & Dr. Anca Tomescu, Head of FOUR PAWS Stray Animals Care Romania
© FOUR PAWS | Bogdan Baraghin

We opened our new centre for animal-assisted therapy in Bucharest

From now on former stray dogs and their dog handlers will offer therapy to children with disabilities at the new FOUR PAWS Animal-Assisted Therapy Centre in Bucharest – completely for free for the young patients as the centre is 100% financed by donations. 

Official opening

We can now help both humans and animals at the same time and thus show the world how valuable stray dogs can be in our society. This centre is the first of its kind in Romania, where strays trained as therapy dogs are able to help children with disabilities and learning difficulties. The dogs are always accompanied by their trained dog handlers and the sessions are overseen by a qualified physiotherapist.

Therapy dog Mulan loves to play with children.

Strays are well suited for therapy purposes because of their adaptability and generally good nature

The positive effects of animal-assisted therapy have long been underestimated. Our new centre will show how dogs can improve the physical and emotional wellbeing of children through therapy sessions. For example, children with disabilities can improve their self-confidence with the help of animal-assisted therapy by learning how to feed and reward a dog. Unlike humans, animals approach the children in a completely unbiased way, and strays are well suited for therapy purposes because of their adaptability and generally good nature.  

© FOUR PAWS | Bogdan Baraghin