Dogs Bring Joy and Friendship to Persons with Disabilities

Dogs are often deemed to be man's best friend. 

Volunteer Ms Rupal Agarwal organised a session on 30 April for six clients of the Day Activity Centre for the Disabled (DAC) to interact with two dogs. Through their interaction with dogs, clients forge new friendships. 

"I have been working with people with special needs such as autism and cerebral palsy among others for eight years. I witnessed the therapeutic benefits of animal interactions with persons with special needs. I wanted to bring these beneficial experiences to our RCHD residents and DAC clients," said Ms Agarwal. 

She believes that animal interaction can positively impact persons with disabilities. 

"Animal care, such as grooming and playing with them, have a calming effect on people. They evoke joy while alleviating anxiety and stress," said Ms Agarwal. 

It was heartening for Ms Agarwal to see the clients enjoying the dogs' antics and their enthusiasm for feeding, playing ball, and petting them. The clients' joy radiated through their smiles, squeals and excited participation. 

"During our dog engagement session, the clients were delighted! Their faces radiated joy as they interacted with the dogs, experiencing moments of pure happiness and connection," said Mylen Palino Vergara, Therapy Aide.

"It was more challenging to gauge the response of the non-verbal attendees. I hope the sustained experience of these activities will bring even more positive outcomes," said Ms Agarwal.

Witnessing the positive impact and therapeutic benefits that animal interactions bring to RCHD residents and DAC clients, Ms Agarwal hopes to make these sessions a regular activity.

Ms Agarwal's experience exemplifies how volunteers and partners can bring their expertise and new ideas to brighten the lives of persons with disabilities.

If you have a pet who enjoys the company of humans and would like to be part of this experience, please email