Rescue dogs

Quebec government rescue dogs are trained as emotional support to help children have a fun vax experience

MANILA, Philippines – Aspins Chichi and Coffee, two of Quezon City Veterinary Department’s (QCVD) trained emotional support dogs, have toured city government community vaccination sites to provide children with an enjoyable vaccination experience.

Recently, children who were due for vaccinations at North Fairview Elementary School were able to pet Chichi and Coffee, who were both rescued from the streets a few months ago.

Children playing with Aspins Chichi and coffee at North Fairview Elementary School Vaccination Centre. Photo QC

“Kapag nakita ng bata ‘yung mga aso, tuwang-tuwa sila tapos pwede pa nilang hawakan and pwede pang mayakap. It eases children’s anxiety and makes vaccination a fun experience for them,” said Mayor Joy Belmonte.

According to city veterinarian Dr. Ana Marie Cabel, the city’s health department (QCHD) has coordinated with her office to make vaccination in communities memorable for children, who have less colorful settings than in mall and event venue inoculation sites.

Dog trainers with rescued dogs at North Fairview Elem. School. Photo QC

Since the establishment of the QC Animal Care and Adoption Center, city veterinarians have already trained 14 dogs as community service animals and two as emotional support dogs.

The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) has already started training five dogs in the city to become bomb or drug sniffers. The other dogs are still being readied for posting to other QCPD detachments and barangays.

“Soon we will start bringing the dogs to institutions, the first of which is GRACES Institution for the Aged. Whenever we finish training the dogs, we will send them to na kailangang kailangan nilang matulungan facilities as emotional support animals,” Dr. Cabel explained.

Before being trained as emotional support dogs or community service dogs for two months, the canines undergo a full evaluation by city veterinarians.

Each dog will undergo a three-day observation and Safety Assessment for Handling (SAFER) test which identifies the dog’s comfort level with restraint and touch , reaction to new experiences including movement and sound stimuli, bite inhibition, behavior around food and toys, and level of excitement towards other dogs and will be screened for diseases common. Only apparently healthy dogs will qualify for the rehabilitation and adoption program.

Dogs that satisfactorily qualify are put up for immediate adoption and some are further trained as emotional support and community service dogs and undergo training in basic behavior, obedience and socialization.

RELATED STORY:

QC prepares to vaccinate children aged 12 to 17

JPD

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