TAOYUAN, Taiwan, Sept. 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — In September 2021, the Paw for Good team of Chung Yuan University Industry Accelerator and Incubator Center (IAIC) launched the Paw For Good Interactive Education Program in cooperation with crowdfunding consultancy firm Backer-Founder. The program aims to support Paw for Good to help more people in need to benefit from interacting with educational support dogs. Through the crowdfunding action, Paw for God would like to give everyone an opportunity to participate in the program and raise awareness in public that stray dogs can be trained to support the mental development of disadvantaged groups
Though interactions, educational support dogs can assist people in improving mental wellness and achieving personal goals as well as these dogs can benefit from people to become better integrate into society by building up their courage and confidence.
To break the stereotype that service dogs are limited to specific breeds, the team purposely chose stray dogs and train them to become educational support dogs . The educational support dogs can support people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depressive disorder and other disabilities. Through interaction between dogs and human beings, educational support dogs play a role like teaching assistant to these people in need, to live with their symptoms and thus improve their emotional state of mind.
By leveraging the power of love and the professional services , the Paw for Good team stimulates mutual growth for both the dogs and the disadvantaged groups by facilitating interactions between them, creating a mutually beneficial and sustainable ecosystem.
Stray dogs deserve a second chance
“Stray dogs are just like exceptional children to some extent. They both are frequently ignored by society, and yet, they actually have great potentialities. We just rarely give them chances to exert their potential and often give them up before they can demonstrate their abilities,” said Angel YC Chen, head of the Paw for Good team.
“We often have prejudices about stray dogs (at the very beginning) as we generally suppose these animals to be quite dangerous. The dogs can feel it if we act unfriendly towards them, but, if we give them some time , we will find that they are actually very gentle and willing to believe in us as long as we are willing to put our guard down and treat them appropriately.”
She added, “I think the approach is also applicable to children with special educational needs as I have improved my own mental health by interacting with therapy dogs. They are both disadvantaged and may improve their mental wellness by helping each other.”
Taiwan’s first emotion management class provided via educational support dogs
Educational support dogs that used to be strays have been professionally trained to improve people’s metal health by interacting with them. The main concept of emotion management class with educational support dogs arise from therapy dog program worldwide. The first therapy dog program worldwide was launched in 1750. By triggering emotional changes in individuals and reducing their negative emotions, therapy dogs can increase the motivation to change one’s behavior and improve one’s mental stability while helping reduce their stress, depression and anxiety, significantly enhancing their interpersonal skills.
The team has visited 12 counties and cities across Taiwan and served over 15,000 persons at 126 institutions by providing over 370 classes and lectures, all of which has come together to build a bridge connecting human beings with dogs. Qualified educational support dogs can assist people with ASD, ADHD, depressive disorders or disabilities as well as children with special needs.
Giving parents a new appreciation for their children
“After having been diagnosed with ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and Tourette syndrome, my child was exposed to extremely emotional highs and lows. For example, he would push his classmate just because the child accidentally touched him or moved too slowly in situations where they had to walk line up,” said Yulian, the mother of a child, attending in the Paw for Good’s emotion management class for children). “Every time that happened, I collapsed and started crying in his presence after yelling at and scolding him. But this is actually a combination of three feelings: resentment, disappointment and sadness.”
“I found that he began to show empathy after taking the class, which I think is one of major changes in him. Sometimes when we see someone walking a dog in the park, his brother would always want to pet the dog. In the past, when that happened, he would get an angry look and ask his brother not to do that as he thought it to be a wrong. But now, he has suddenly become very patient and would tell his brother that they should ask for the owner’s permission before petting the dog, and then teach his brother how to get close to the dog. Previously, that is something he definitely would not do and he even felt that dogs are dirty. I’m really moved to see him making such progress.”
“I think he has now become a child with patience and willing to control his anger, quite different from one he used to be, the one that showed no empathy for others. In fact, I didn’t have high expectations when we decided to let him join the class. I didn’t expect that the instinctive behavior of animals could change a child with emotional disorders. I feel it’s really amazing. Thank you for guiding me to get to know my child from different perspectives. “
Paw for Good Interactive Education Program
The fundraising program is expected to achieve the following three objectives:
- Transform stray dogs into confident instructors that no longer wander the streets aimlessly and can help people via a professional training program
- Increase the motivation for people with ASD, ADHD, depressive disorder or disabilities to pursuit possible changes their behavior while reducing their stress, depression and anxiety by giving them opportunities to interact with therapy dogs, and, by doing so, enhance their interpersonal and social skills
- To provide disadvantaged groups in each of the counties, towns and cities across Taiwan with an opportunity to participate in a program to benefit mutually from interactions between human beings and dogs
In addition to rewarding supporters of the program with intricately deigned gifts, the Paw for Good team expects the small therapy animals to accompany the people they are caring for through every single challenge in their lives, further spreading kindness across a wider community.
Crowd fundraising date: 8/24 – 11/10
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Source: Industry Accelerator & Incubation Center of Chung Yuan Christian University