Busia, a former stray dog ​​turned therapy dog, supports the soldiers …

VIER PFOTEN – Stiftung für Tierschutz

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Busia, a former stray dog ​​turned therapy dog, supports rehabilitation soldiers in Ukraine

Four PAWS ’animal-assisted therapy programs can help heal trauma and prevent post-traumatic stress disorder

Zurich, June 9, 2022-The war in Ukraine continues to cause immense suffering to millions of people. Thousands of soldiers who have returned injured or traumatized from the combat zone need special medical care, both mentally and physically. The world animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS offers
animal assisted intervention
in Ukraine since 2018, a program in which formerly stray dogs are selected, trained and certified by experts to become therapy dogs. This program aims to change the way people view and pay attention to stray animals.

Today therapy dog ​​Busia also provides emotional support and prevention of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to wounded soldiers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, at Vinnytsia Hospital in central Ukraine.

According to studies conducted by psychologists, rehabilitation is faster and its effects are more visible in veterans who have benefited from animal -assisted therapy. This is why experts from FOUR PAWS, which has been assisting refugees from the east of the country in Vinnytsia since the start of the war, decided to also support the wounded soldiers. During animal -assisted therapy, the dog acts as a mediator between the psychologist and the patient, creating an atmosphere of trust and relaxation. If patients feel safe with the dog, they will open up more easily.

“Our primary role is to support and assist in the rehabilitation of patients after they have been injured, to prevent PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), a psychiatric disorder. If patients want to communicate but find it difficult to do so “, sometimes it’s easier with a dog than with a human. We usually come to the hospital and notice that someone who hasn’t talked to anyone has started interacting with the dog after a short time,” he said. by Viktoriia Habryk, a FOUR PAWS psychologist who works with Busia and the soldiers.

Canine therapy can be effective for many diseases, including stress, depression, seizures, aggression, and hyperactivity. Interacting with the dog promotes social development, relieves anxiety, calms and relaxes.

How the former stray Busia became a therapy dog

After the retirement of Lisa, the first stray dog ​​to become a therapy dog ​​in Ukraine, the FOUR PAWS team on site is ready to rescue and train another dog for the project. They found what they were looking for in Busia, a former stray dog ​​from Lviv who had passed all the behavioral tests with a flying color and was the second stray dog ​​from Ukraine to become a stray dog. therapy. “Busia performs her duties as a therapist in a professional manner and she provides vital treatment support. In our program, Busia is specially trained in responding to human reactions and very clearly identifies people who tense, stressed or traumatized.He can free a person from this state by licking their hands or touching them with his foot, inviting them to socialize.Patients begin to caress him, hug her and slowly calm down. Busia does not judge or judge, she gives unconditional love and a lot of comfort, ”said Ms. Habryk.

The FOUR PAWS animal -assisted intervention program

“Through this program, we want to change the attitudes and behaviors of stray animals, showing that they can add value to society and improve community well-being. We also want to show that stray dogs can. good pets. That’s why we encourage adoption through local shelters, “said James Pirnay, Community Engagement Manager at FOUR PAWS. quality for the entire program: for the activities involved, the benefit of the former is lost in its care and for the effective management of the program.First, dogs suitable for the task are selected and trained using methods that based on health, such as positive reinforcement.After about twelve months of preparation and training, the health, manners and behavior of the dog are checked. “Dogs ready to mi tion remained calm in all situations. For example, wheelchairs or crutches are not unique items for the dog. It is also important that the dog is willing to cooperate with strangers, that he is gentle, approachable and that he has no signs of aggression. Work can never be a burden on the dog, ”said Mr. Pirnay.

FOUR PAWS offer animal-assisted intervention programs in Ukraine, Bulgaria and Romania.

QUATRE PATTES est l’organisation mondiale de protection des animaux sous influence humaine directe, qui révèle leurs souffrances, sauve les animaux en détresse et les protège. Fondée en 1988 à Vienne par Heli Dungler et des amis, l'organisation plaide pour un monde où les humaines traitent les animaux avec respect, compassion et compréhension. Les campagnes et projets durables se concentrent sur les chiens et chats errants ainsi que sur les animaux de compagnie, les animaux de rente et les animaux sauvages – tels que les ours, les grands félins et les orangs-outans – vivant dans de mauvaises conditions de détention ainsi que dans les zones de catastrophe et de conflit. Avec des bureaux en Afrique du Sud, Allemagne, Australie, Autriche, Belgique, Bulgarie, Kosovo, Pays-Bas, Royaume-Uni, Suisse, Thaïlande, Ukraine, USA et Vietnam ainsi que des refuges pour animaux en détresse dans onze pays, QUATRE PATTES fournit une aide rapide et des solutions durables. La Fondation est en outre un partenaire d'Arosa Terre des Ours, le premier refuge en Suisse qui offre aux ours sauvés de mauvaises conditions de détention un environnement adapté à l’espèce.  www.quatre-pattes.ch



Images can be downloaded here.

Copyright: © FOUR PAWS

The use of photos and videos is free. It can only be used to report on this press release. For this report only, one (non-exclusive, non-transferable), non-assignable license is granted. Future reuse of photos and videos is permitted only with the prior written permission of FOUR PAWS.

Austrian law applies without the criteria of its reference, the place of jurisdiction is Vienna.

Contact Médias 
Sylvie Jetzer
Communication Suisse
Enzianweg 4
8048 Zurich
043 311 80 90 sylvie.jetzer@vier-pfoten.org

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