Monday, 24 October 2011

National Association for Search and Rescue

National Association for Search and Rescue, Inc. (NASAR) is a non-profit membership association dedicated to advancing professional, literary, and scientific knowledge in fields related to search and rescue, including search and rescue dogs. 

NASAR is comprised of thousands of paid and non-paid professionals interested in all aspects of search and rescue - the humanitarian cause of saving lives - throughout the United States and around the world. 

Response to persons in distress has long been an honourable, charitable tradition and the professionals in search and rescue have carried on this tradition of helping others by dedicating time, information, skills, equipment & funding to the relief of suffering.

NASAR's primary mission is to develop and provide professional training and certification programs for the search & rescue community.

Search & Rescue Dog Training

Why do only certain kinds of dogs become Search & Rescue Dogs?
Disaster search requires very specific talents and skills in both dog and handler. A disaster site is a treacherous environment: noisy, chaotic, dust-filled, and sometimes dark. Disaster search dogs must have the ability to perform at a high level in the worst setting imaginable. 

It takes an extraordinary dog, one with extreme boldness, energy, strength, agility and drive to approach every training exercise, and every deployment, with energy and determination. These are dogs that LOVE to work, NEED to work, and want nothing more than to be out on the rubble, searching!

What are Search & Rescue Dogs trained to do and why?
After a disaster, when buildings have crumbled to the ground, dogs can search much more quickly and safely than people can. By training on simulated rubble piles where volunteer victims are hiding, the canines and their handlers prepare themselves to find people who would otherwise remain buried. 

A disaster search dog must learn to crawl through tunnels, walk up and down ladders, and walk on wobbly surfaces and over debris and rubble. The dog must be able to go in a direction that its handler has signalled, stop and wait for instructions.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Therapy Dogs International

Therapy Dogs International (TDI®) is a volunteer organization dedicated to regulating, testing and registration of therapy dogs and their volunteer handlers for the purpose of visiting nursing homes, hospitals, other institutions and wherever else therapy dogs are needed.

all dogs must be tested and evaluated by a Certified TDI Evaluator. A dog must be a minimum of one year of age and be of sound temperament. 

Each dog must pass a temperament evaluation for suitability to become a Therapy Dog, which includes the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen Test (CGC). 

The test will also include the evaluation of the dog’s behavior around people with the use of some type of service equipment such as wheelchairs or crutches.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Testing Times for Yoko!

Photo: Daily Mail

Yoko, a guide dog in training in England, passes the "cat test" with flying colors. 

She remained utterly unruffled as (Leo the cat) did his best to distract the young dog. 

The Centre for the Interaction of Animals and Society

The Centre for the Interaction of Animals and Society (CIAS)

CIAS is a multi-disciplinary research center within the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. It provides a forum for addressing the many practical and moral issues arising from the interactions of animals and society. 

The study of human-animal interactions is still a new and developing field that straddles the boundaries between traditional academic disciplines. CIAS strives for an interdisciplinary approach and the involvement of scholars and researchers from a wide variety of different backgrounds and interests.

CIA's goal is to promote understanding of human-animal interactions and relationships across a wide range of contexts including companion animals, farm animals, laboratory animals, zoo animals, and free-living wild animals. CIAS aims to:
  1. Study the positive and negative influence of people’s relationships with animals on their physical and mental health and well being.
  2. Investigate the impact of these relationships on the behaviour and welfare of the animals involved.
  3. Encourage constructive, balanced, and well-informed debate and discussion on the ethics of animal use.
  4. Use the knowledge and information gained from this work to benefit people, and promote the humane use and treatment of animals.

Therapy Dog Certification

Centre for the Interaction of Animals and Society (CIAS)
In 2003, CIAS initiated a program whereby an evaluator from Therapy Dogs International, Inc.(TDI) a respected organisation in the field of therapy dog certification – visit the school of Veterinary Medicine to provide both TDI and AKC Canine GoodCitizenship certificate services to interested parties. 
My Dog Passed IconThe aim of the program is to provide certificated handler/dog teams that will be able to visit nursing homes, school, hospital, hospices, rehabilitation centres and other facilities organisations that believe in the power of the human-animal bond to educate, lift spirits, and aid in the healing process. 

To date, the program has evaluated 100+ handler/dog teams!

PALS Program

Lort Smith Hospital Pet Therapy Program - PALS

The Pets Are Loving Support (PALS) Program has been running for over 20 years and is a free service provided by the Lort Smith Animal Hospital. 

The program coordinates visits to hospitals, rehabilitation centres, hostels and nursing homes by volunteers accompanied by their own assessed and approved dogs. 

The program’s aim is to help improve the wellbeing of patients / residents through positive contact with visiting volunteers and their dogs.

Lort Smith Animal HospitalEstablished in 1936, Lort Smith Animal Hospital is one of the largest Animal Hospitals in the world, providing quality care for hundreds of thousands of abandoned, mistreated  sick animals every year.

LSAH promotes the benefits of the human bond through its community partnerships and education programs on responsible pet ownership.

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