Villepreux – When man and animal become one

The second edition of Sustainable Development Week will take place from May 13 to 21 in Villepreux. “This year’s strong theme is inclusion, disability, a major municipal factor voted on by the municipal council for 2022”, introduces the municipal website. Along with the program’s many activities, it is inspired by 17 sustainable development goals, such as exhibitions, local producers ’markets or events with our four-legged friends.

Valuable assistance for beneficiaries

On Sunday May 15, La Gazette was able to participate in a handi’chiens event in the multipurpose room of the Thomas Pesquet school, to learn about the actions of the Handi’chiens association through a course with (future) delegation de Villepreux (it should open its doors in October, editor’s letter). The association has been educating and providing assistance dogs free of charge to people with disabilities since 1989. This was followed by a cani’rando ’, a walk organized with our four-legged companions. for a friendly opportunity to (again) get to know the pedestrian streets of Villepreux.

La Gazette was able to participate in the handi’dog animation and its cani’rando ’. “The Handi’chiens association has about fifty delegations all over France”, pointed out Anne-Sophie Sablan-Mory, the association’s volunteer. The discovery workshop, which was attended by a dozen people, welcomed people with disabilities, especially to familiarize themselves with the animal and see if the feeling passed. There are also people who want to be a foster family for dogs, because these dogs can help people with physical disabilities, people with epilepsy, children with Down syndrome, people who deaf or deaf …

“We don’t give up dogs if they don’t match the human deficiency. This is very important ”, continued a member of the association. “We are all volunteers here, but the association has almost fifty employees and almost 500 volunteers all over France, who train almost 350 dogs”, continued Anne-Sophie Sablan-Mory. “We offer people access to service dogs for free, which can be very expensive. Education in a handi’dog costs between 15,000 and 17,000 euros between care, equipment purchase, food, and so on. »

“The education of assisted dogs will last 2 years. Dogs will spend 16 months in a foster family and then 6 months in a handi’chiens education center. Finally, in the long term, it is “Every year, an inspection is done to see if the beneficiary is all right. The veterinarian also checks the animal to see if the dog is in good health. It is very regulated,” he said. to volunteer.

“Dogs, usually large dogs like golden retrievers or labradors, understand about thirty commands like‘ down ’,‘ bring-give ’or even‘ help ’. They can get a phone, get keys from the floor and of course bring medicine. Dogs have 16 months to learn it, so it needs to be kept simple, ”said Anne-Sophie’s husband, who came to offer her help.

A woman in a wheelchair tried a few steps with the dog. “It’s amazing! I’m alive again,” he exclaimed. In addition, he tried to faint to see if the dog would react. Either one or two, the dog worked around the man on the ground and tried to encourage him. Amazing. “Our dogs are welcome everywhere. Sometimes there are some problems with security guards, but once we explain it well, ”anecdotally a member of the association.

Once the chasuble is removed after walking, the dogs will turn around in all directions. They played, staring at each other. “It makes them good, it’s their way of decompressing, they know it’s time to play,” one volunteer explained.

“We did our best, but it took a long time to get this valuable help. The association currently has 700 files pending. In general, beneficiaries can get a dog between 2 and 5 years old, ”concluded Anne-Sophie Sablan-Mory.

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