First stray dog therapy center in Europe opened in Bucharest

Vier Pfoten inaugurated in Bucharest on Thursday the first dog therapy center in Europe, the place where stray dogs are used in the therapy for disabled children.

We live in a society where the perception on stray dogs is unfair most of the times, that’s why we thought we could prove that people and dogs can help one anothers (…) This center might be unique in Europe as it is the only one where therapy will be provided by stray dogs,” said the project’s coordinator, Anca Tomescu.

According to her, the inauguration of “Dogs for People” Center can prove that the positive interaction with the animals is beneficial, with the center benefitting of the most performing research technology in this field.

The center’s ex-stray dogs, psychotherapists and trainers will provide free therapy sessions to the children with various disabilities.

Also attending the opening, Vier Pfoten founder and president, Helmut Dungler said that the inauguration of the center represents a reward of over 10-year work carried on by the foundation’s Romanian team.

The project “Dogs for People” has been running since 2004 but the new center will enable more children benefit of its efficienty. Anca Tomescu estimates that over 50 children will be provided with the stray dog therapy on an annual basis, starting with 2016.

Tibi, Richie, Tuca or Mulan are some of the friendly dogs saved from the streets or from shelters. They are helping autistic children or children facing communication problems easily relate with the environment, play or do homework. Mura is the new doggie that has recently joined de team made of the 4 stray dogs.

Not every dog can become therapist, it has to pass some tests, to be docile, not to bite and to be friendly with children.

The center’ trainers say that more stray dogs are welcome to join the new team, as there are tens of thousands of them walking over on the street. In Bucharest, over 32,000 stray dogs have been seized in the past 2 years, with 13,000 of them being put to sleep.

autisticBucharestcenterdisabilitiesdisabled childrendogs for peopleHelmut Dunglerpsychotherapistsstray dogstherapyvier pfoten
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