Healing Through Army Animals Pet Therapy

"A dog is man's best friend because he wags his tail and not his tongue"

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) - the planned inclusion of an animal in a treatment plan and animal-assisted activities (AAA) - the use of animals in recreational and visitation programmes to help people with special needs and their spin-off interventions such as equine-assisted psychotherapy, "cell dog" or prison pet programs, and reading interventions using dogs - are based on an age-old concept however rarely practiced in our country. Pets are a friendly, non-threatening common denominator in many of our homes. Those of us who own pets know they make us happy. But a growing body of scientific research is showing that our pets can also make us healthy, or healthier. That helps explain the increasing use of animals world wide — dogs and cats mostly, but also birds, fish and even horses — in settings ranging from rehabilitation centres, hospitals and nursing homes to schools, jails and mental institutions.

In our country RVC has taken this rare philanthropic initiative for the first time by providing a dog at ASHA School at Delhi Cantt for the children with special needs. The school is run by AWWA under the aegis of HQ Delhi Area and results are overwhelming and it’s actually helping the school in early rehabilitation of children with special needs. Similarly earlier, RVC have provided few horses and riders to Central Institute of Mentally Retarded (CIMR), Thiruvanathpuram. RVC extended their support over the years to them. The results were miraculous and the response was magnificent. The students at the institute were immensely benefited with this unique animal therapy. We are still maintaining the association with the Institute and extending our support for their early rehabilitation objective. The effort was well appreciated by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India during his visit to the Centre.

Pets may serve as a "time clock," providing a sense of order and a daily ritual. Pets may give us a realistic, naturalistic touchstone, a baseline of animal behaviour against which we can sometimes compare our own troubles and put our own lives into perspective. Pets have frequently been described as non-threatening and non-judgmental companions. "The unambivalent nature of the exchange of affection between people and animals differs from exchanges with close family members and other relatives. Pets are a source of comfort that can be scheduled on demand of the owner, in almost any quantity, without bargaining or supplication,"

RVC Riders Horses Assisting Differently Abled Children at CIMR

Rev Fr Felix CM, Central Institute for Mentally Retarded, Thiruvanathpuram updating DGRVS on the progress of Project on Animal Therapy through Army Horses Equines

Healing Therapy through Trained Dogs of RVC to Differently Abled and Mentally Challenged Children at ASHA SCHOOL, Delhi Cantt