Volunteers’ Meeting – February 2013

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PHOTO MARTIN MAHER 087-2565705 NO REPRO FEE

IRISH THERAPY DOGS VOLUNTEER MEETING

PHOTO SHOWS PROFESSORS SANDRA AND RANDOLPH BARKER WITH BENSON AT THE IRISH THERAPY DOGS VOLUNTEER MEETING IN BEWLEYS HOTEL LEOPARDSTOWN ON SAT 23-02-2013.

World-Class Researchers Speak at

Irish Therapy Dogs Volunteers’ Meeting

Eminent academics, Professors Sandra and Randolph Barker from The Centre for

Human-Animal Interaction (CHAI), Virginia Commonwealth University, U.S.A.

www.chai.vcu.edu were recent guest speakers at the Irish Therapy Dogs Annual

Volunteers’ Meeting. The couple flew to Dublin especially for the meeting, and riveted

the audience by presenting their latest cutting-edge research.

Recent studies have proved, beyond doubt, that canine companionship brings health

benefits. As well as lowering blood pressure, playing with a dog increases production

of serotonin and dopamine, both of which help to calm and relax us. Current research

at CHAI is focused on the effect of animal-assisted therapy on patients referred for

pain management and palliative care. Another fascinating study documents brainwave

activity in adults whilst interacting with a therapy dog.

Stroking, holding and fussing a dog can calm and soothe the most stressed of us. The

companionship of a dog brings comfort, helps ease anxiety and boosts our mood.

Irish Therapy Dogs, a registered charity founded in 2008, has undertaken the task of

establishing a national network of volunteers, who, accompanied by their faithful dogs,

visit residences where the companionship of a dog is missing. Today, more than 250

teams (a handler and their dog) make weekly visits to day care centres, hospices,

hospitals, long-stay nursing homes, schools and retirement homes all across the

country.

…Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole

FOR FURTHER INFO PLEASE CONTACT

BRNDA RICARD 087-6591318 OR 01 218 9302

www.irishtherapydogs