85% of dog owners feel less stressed
I attended a conference last Sunday at the Palais des Congrès in Lorient, presented by Handi'Chiens. This association mainly trains Golden Retrievers and Labradors to help disabled people lead a more independent and social life. The selected puppies are adopted by families of volunteers who spend 16 months training them and learning to work in all private and public conditions. Six additional months of training in a Handi'Chiens center, then the future owner devotes two weeks to the training of his new dog, which is allocated to them free of charge.
The statistics are impressive: 85% of owners feel less stressed, 84% feel better overall, and 97% believe their dogs are helping them develop social contacts that they haven't had before. 25% have cut back on their medications and 1 in 3 call the doctor less.
Help, stimulate, appease
In the video, we see this six-year-old Golden Retriever assisting his mistress, confined to a wheelchair. There are several categories of dogs: those trained to help, those trained to stimulate and soothe autistic people; others trained to stimulate and calm in institutions such as hospitals or retirement homes, or those specialized to accompany, help and protect epileptics.
A special category is the legal aid dog, an initiative developed by the FBI in the United States. This program is a first in France since March 2019 and unique in Europe. LOL, a gentle Labrador, is made available to work in police stations or courts at the request of any person who is the subject of legal proceedings; these dogs may also work with children who have witnessed domestic violence or parental conflict.
Handi'Chiens does not receive any financial support from the State and depends entirely on donations to do its remarkable work: training a dog for 2 years for a total cost of 15,000 euros which will be given to a beneficiary free of charge. To make donations or provide volunteer services.