News - Doggy Love
by Life Positive
Tender loving care is available for those who lost their loved ones in the 7/11 train blasts or other such calamities. Kutty and Goldie, two trained dogs from the NGO Animal Angels are a part of the animal-assisted therapy that was introduced as part of the project, Raahat Ka Ehsaas, initiated by Bombay Psychiatric Society and Rotary Club of Bombay Central.
Kutty and Goldie work with schools meant for differently abled children.
Now, they are undergoing training for assisting the blast victims. According to Minal Lonkar-Kavishwar, founder of Animal Angels, animal therapy, though new in India, is common abroad. In the US, it was effectively used for victims of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. In 2002, Minal introduced the concept at Dharmavir Anand Dighe JIDD Special School for Handicapped Children in Thane, where Kutty was trained to be a therapy dog. Minal has completed certification in Animal Therapy from University of North Texas in USA. According to Shyamshree Bhosale, principal of JIDD School, mentally challenged children feel lonely, as they are not easily accepted by society. They look on Kutty as a friend and open up with her. Even though they are impulsive and can be violent sometimes, Kutty has been desensitised to their reactions.
Nine months back, Minal started training Sophie for Prasanna Autistic Centre
in Pune. She has now added four more dogs to her squad, which is being trained at Thane.
Minal says that since most blast victims have terrifying memories trapped in their minds, the soft and caring touch of these
animals helps them get over their pain
and release pent-up emotions. The Bombay Psychiatric Society is planning to set up
a permanent Disaster Management Cell, which will include animal therapy for
victims of mishaps.
Contact: Animal Angels Therapy Centre,
C/o Prasanna Autistic Centre, Near Old Gupte Hospital,
IIPM Lane, Bhandarkar Road, Pune. Mobile: 9325025250
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