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Pet Noite 2014: Cans axudar os nenos con autismo

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DSCF3319Two pilot projects in the UK and the Netherlands have shown the amazing results of dogs’ beneficial impact on children, segundo investigacións realizadas pola Universidade de Lincoln, que foi levada á luz durante o 10th Pet Night event on 12 February – sapoiada pola Federación Internacional de Sanidade Animal (IFAH), Pet Night reuniu a responsables políticos e as ONG.

“The overwhelming majority of parents confirmed that their child became happier after adopting a dog, and that ‘meltdowns’ in the presence of a dog were less likely,” said Helen McCain, of the UK programme Parents Autism Workshop (PAWS). The effect on a child is “massively beneficial”, she added.

A proposta está de acordo coas políticas da UE sobre sensibilización da cidadanía sobre o autismo e destacando formas de protexer aos nenos. Este ano, a Noite de Mascotas o 12 de febreiro representou todo o espectro de organizacións: desde asociacións de cans guía ben establecidas ata proxectos recentes de cans para nenos autistas. Isto indica un crecente interese por parte dos europeos por un novo nivel de síntese entre humanos e animais no século XXI. De cans de garda e rescate, a humanidade avanzou cara a formas moito máis sofisticadas de formas de interacción mutuamente beneficiosas, pasando da protección física dos humanos a cuestións máis complexas de coidado da saúde humana, incluída a psicolóxica.

DSCF3266“My dogs usually work during one hour per day, sometimes two hours, with a break for a walk,” Annick Neveu, a volunteer for Activ’Dog Association which focuses on visiting old people’s homes, told EU Reporter.  For many elderly people, such visits represent a bridge to their past, helping to overcome their stress. The dogs brighten the days of Alzheimer sufferers and those with other severe disorders, and the wisest of ‘man’s best friends’ are introduced to bring comfort in the last moments of those passing away.  “Holding and caressing a dog is a beacon of light,” Neveu added.

DSCF3244Along with Activ’dog, numerous associations present at Pet Night train and educate dogs and humans for mutually beneficial relationships, confirming dogs’ unique place in human life. However, many mysteries concerning the integral bond between animals and humans are still to be discovered.

Although there were no felines present at the event, German Professor Reinghold Bergler’s new book Man and Cat. The Benefits of Cat Ownership compensated to some extent for the absence of cats. At the moment, cats are the most popular  pets in Europe – with 17 per 100 households, the Danes leads in terms of human to animal ratio, but the French, with 11 million, are clearly ahead in overall numbers.  Similarly to dogs, cats are tremendously supportive for frail individuals, bringing balance and significantly improving the quality of life in retirement and easing grief and depression, Reinghold claims. In spite of there being around 200 million pets in the EU, Reinghold also adds that for quality of life improvement “we need more animals around us than is the case at present”.  But the relationship between animals and humans is not a one-way street – pets should benefit as well, according to volunteers. “Ensuring the health and welfare of companion animals across Europe is an essential part of responsibile pet ownership,” said MEP Julie Girling.  One of the crucial aspects of this health-care system is a single EU-wide licensing system that is due to be considered by the European Parliament this year. The single-license system, concluded Girling, would greatly improve the availability of medicines for all animals across Europe.

 

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Anna van Densky

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