Conference about Handi’Chiens
I attended a conference at Lorient’s Palais des Congrès this past Sunday, presented by Handi’Chiens. This association trains principally Golden Retrievers and Labradors to help the handicapped lead lives of greater independence and social integration. Selected puppies are adopted by volunteer families who spend 16 months training them and learning how to work under all private and public conditions. Another six months of training in a Handi’Chiens center, and then the future owner spends two weeks training together with their new dog – attributed to them at no cost.
The statistics are impressive: 85% of owners feel less stressed, 84% feel better overall, and 97% feel that their dogs help them develop social contacts they didn’t enjoy previously. 25% have reduced their medications, and 1 out of 3 calls the doctor less.
In the video we see this six-year-old Golden Retriever assisting his mistress who is confined to a wheelchair. There are several categories of dogs: those trained to help, those trained to stimulate and soothe autistics; others trained to stimulate and soothe in institutions such as hospitals or retirement homes, or those specialized to accompany, aid and protect epileptics.
A special category is the judicial assistance dog, an initiative developed in the United States by the FBI. This particular program is a first in France since March 2019 and unique in Europe. LOL, a gentle Labrador, held available to work in police stations or courts at the request of anyone undergoing a legal procedure; these dogs also can work with children who have witnessed conjugal violence or parental conflict.
Handi’Chiens receives no State financial support and is entirely dependent on donations to do its remarkable work: training a dog for 2 years at a total cost of 15,000 euros who will be given to a beneficiary at no cost. To offer donations or propose volunteer services.