Rescued from Streets of Sarajevo: Dogs and Cats are Therapists for People with Disabilities

March 30, 2017 12:00 PM

dog GSSService center “Give us a chance” for support of families, children, and persons with disabilities in Sarajevo is the first one in BiH that started with the realization of workshops in which dogs and cats play an important role in the therapy.

Their aim is the improvement of physical, social and emotional skills of its users. Therapy with the help of animals found wide use in Western countries as a form of extra therapy for people with difficulties in physical and mental development.

“Service center “Give us a chance” is the first of its kind in BiH, and provides free support to families of children and people with disabilities at the level of Canton Sarajevo, regardless of the age, type, or degree of disability. The service center is organizing activities in accordance with needs of customers. Therapy workshops for children and persons with disabilities are realized for the first time in BiH, through the initiative of Pawsitive.

The workshops are held in a separate room or in the open space for customers whose parents/guardians expressed a desire for this type of therapy. Participants of the workshop are enthusiastic for socializing with dogs and cats.

In this way, they meet the animals, overcome their initial fear, they establish a direct connection which is the foundation for a reaction on the environment,” said Ines Kavalec, director of the service center “Give us a chance.”

“The idea of starting the project existed for two years, but preconditions for its implementation were created only recently. We started very cautiously, by only using dogs that have passed the assessment and training, and cats that are easily making contact with strangers, do not scratch and all they want is to get a dose of cuddling. An interesting fact is that all animals that are currently participating in workshops were rescued from the street, and the majority of them are seeking a home. Of course, all of them are fully vaccinated, healthy and trained for this type of therapy. So if someone wants to adopt a dog or a kitten that have therapeutic abilities or give them a temporary home, please contact us through Facebook page Pawsitive,” said Belma Mujezinovic-Pribilovic, director of Bela Vida company and one of the volunteers of Pawsitive program.

The project will gather volunteers who wish to help the community in this way. All those who want to participate in workshops with their cats or dogs, regardless of whether they were rescued from the streets or not, can contact project coordinator Mirjana Bjeloc Fajkovic or her assistant Lana Karaman on the email pawsitive@belavida.ba, since they are planning workshops in the next period in other centers that are dedicated to neglected social categories.

(Source: Radiosarajevo.ba)

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