Former stray dogs help children with Down’s syndrome
For seven years now, Dogs For People has been achieving tremendous success in assisting youth therapists in Romania. This particular kind of therapy, in which dogs provide a direct and emotional connection to children with special needs, has worked particularly well for symptoms of autism. One of the young patients who suffered from such manifestations is Cornel. He is now six years old and was, like 8-year-old Anna, abandoned after his birth. Ever since he was chosen for dog assisted therapy, he has made constant progress.
Cornel is much more perceptive of his environment and learned to communicate with the people around him. The regular presence of a dog has given him a feeling of safety and comfort, while the playful approach of the therapy has awoken his sense of interaction. Anna suffers from a milder form of Down, but has also benefitted much from the frequent sessions. She has become more sociable, a faster learner and remarkably protective of the younger Cornel.
A strong relationship
The animals that bring so much energy and joy to the Dogs For People project are being chosen during the FOUR PAWS Stray Animal Care projects. While neutering and providing medical care to the many homeless dogs in Romania, there are noticeably active ones that catch the attention of the SAC team every now and again. Several of them find a new challenge in life when they are being trained for the therapy project. In most cases they live with their trainers, often beyond their own retirement. For Cornel and Anna, these dogs will continue to provide a happier and more liveable future.