Having introduced Animal Assisted Interventions to the multi-disciplinary therapy programme within neurological rehabilitation at a local hospital in 2004, Sallie witnessed first hand the positive effects that occurred when stroke survivors were given the opportunity to interact with dogs during therapy sessions. Working alongside Pets As Therapy volunteer teams at the time, regular visits were arranged for those patients wishing to participate, utilising the dog as a focus when working towards a range of rehab goals.
Frustrated by the limitations and restrictions that inevitably occur when working in a large organisation, but empowered by the testimonials of participating stroke survivors led to the vision, and consequent birth of Stroke Rehab Dogs in 2013.
Stroke Rehab Dogs offers highly innovative and motivating therapeutic opportunities for stroke survivors to incorporate a companion animal into their rehabilitation treatment programme. Based on the power of the human–animal bond, this intervention can be utilised by Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists, Physiotherapists and Psychologists.
Being an active member of the Society for Companion Animal Studies (S.C.A.S) and having completed and tutored on their specific training course "Companion Animal Interventions in Therapeutic Practice", Sallie is aware of the moral and ethical concerns that this type of intervention raises. The programme model used in this intervention therefore adheres to the recently developed Code of Practice, developed by key members of the S.C.A.S. membership, of which Sallie was one.
Mason N McLary
|Location||Palmers Green, London|