SchäferhundA really helpful facility is the VITA association, which trains assistance dogs for physically disabled people. The VITA e.V. association was founded in 2000 by the social worker Tatjana Kreidler founded a non-profit organization that provides assistance dogs for physically disabled children and adults. It was the first club in Europe to be certified with the “Assistance Dogs Europe” seal of quality ten years ago. The selection of puppies, socialization, positive and dog-friendly training, the right “matching”, i.e. the appropriate selection and the combination in which the human-dog team learns to interact with each other, is a long and costly process.<!–more–

Dogs with special training

The VITA e.V. association has a training center where people and dogs have time to get closer to each other in peace. People learn what they need to do to ensure that their bond and relationship continue to strengthen or how they can teach their partner new things. The dogs spend their childhood with a sponsored family, then the 12 to 18 month basic training and later special training, tailored to the team partner, follow. In the end it will amount to around 25,000 euros, the parents’ share is 7,500 euros and the follow-up costs. Unfortunately, the costs are not covered by health insurance. As I said, VITA e.V. is a non-profit association that is financed exclusively through sponsorships, donations and sponsors.

Help for people

The assistance dogs give patients more security; they take on many tasks that make everyday life easier and make them independent of the help of others. They take off items of clothing, bring what they want such as money, keys, etc., press the elevator button that is too high for a wheelchair user, even lift their legs into bed and much more. The connection to VITA remains for the dog’s entire life. Follow-up care is provided at least once a year. Dogs, children and illnesses change and new problems often arise that need to be solved. If hospitalization is necessary, the dogs can be accommodated at VITA. An assistance dog is not just a practical helper, loyal partner, icebreaker and mediator – it is medicine on four paws.

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