In the last blog, we celebrated all that is great about guide dogs and the work they do to enable people with sight loss to live independently.
There are many more thousands of animals hard at work across the UK, helping people with physical disabilities and medical issues to enjoy their life.
Hearing dogs provide a lifeline for deaf people, giving them independence, confidence and companionship in a world that can be isolating.
The charity Hearing Dogs is the only one in the country that trains these ‘super pets’ and with one in six people suffering a degree of hearing loss, its services are in big demand.
Hearing dogs are trained to alert people to sounds that are specific to the requirements of a deaf person, including a doorbell, telephone, cooker timer, alarm clock, baby monitor, a smoke alarm or noises they might hear when out in public, such as a fire engine.
There are assistance dogs for children and adults with physical disabilities and families affected by autism provided by Dogs for Good (known as Dogs for the Disabled until just this week). This charity explores the many ways dogs can assist people with a range of challenges and its dogs can have a huge impact for the good on people’s lives.
Nursing home visits
In recent years, pets have become increasingly used in therapy for elderly people and those with disabilities and mental health issues. It’s not unusual to see cats, dogs or horses visiting a nursing home or residents in a care home looking after chickens.
In other countries, swimming with dolphins is a recognised therapy and in Canada, one organisation takes alpacas into schools for children with disabilities. In Boston, USA, a not for profit group has trained monkeys to assist people with spinal cord injuries and mobility impairments.
It’s all just more reasons to love our animals!