Date: April 19, 2016
A training program turning sheltered dogs into therapy canines is underway in
Taipei City, reflecting a rising awareness of the importance of animal welfare in Taiwan.
Established by the local government’s Animal Protection Office, the program selects suitable candidates and arranges for their training and matching with owners by Taipei-headquartered Formosa Animal-Assisted Activity and Therapy Association. Since FAAATA’s founding in 1999, it has trained more than 300 dogs.
Association trainer Teng Hui-chin said dog therapists can assist the elderly, infirm and young undertake various kinds of rehabilitation exercises not possible with human therapists or assistive devices. “But it’s their companionship that makes all the difference when it comes to enhancing the psychological well-being of patients.”
During the launch of the program April 11, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je said the initiative is an extension of a service dog plan introduced late last year. “In addition to finding a permanent home for these canines, it offers the animals a chance to prove invaluable helpers and make a real contribution to society.” [FULL STORY]