In 2011, the Soleil AFELT Charity for families of children suffering from leukaemia or tumours offered animal mediation sessions to children hospitalised at the Dijon University Hospital for the first time. The benefits having been unanimously acclaimed, since 2019, an identical programme has been offered to children hospitalised in the paediatric oncology and neuro-paediatric units of the CHU in Angers. The objective for the Soleil AFELT charity is to improve the daily life of the child during his or her hospitalisation, to facilitate his or her adaptation to the care process and to accompany the family during a time of shared well-being. The animal is a mediator that provides emotional support to the child, facilitates observation and appeasement, allows the expression of emotions and acts as a diversion to anxiety:
“When he was able to be in contact with the animals, our son was like hypnotised. He would smile again. He took a lot of pleasure in petting and caring for them. You could see in his eyes that this moment was a real time of pleasure and appeasement. For a moment, the pain was in the background and he could finally enjoy a few minutes of well-being.”
Testimony of the mother of one of the beneficiaries of the animal mediation sessions offered by Soleil AFELT
Soleil AFELT is one of the 22 charities that have benefited from the financial support of the Foundation. Some of the projects supported in 2020-2021:
Founded in 2008, the association “Gamelles Pleines” is a national federation of regional and departmental associations under the 1901 law, present in 11 cities in France. Gamelles Pleines fights against the social exclusion of people in precarious situations by acting through the animal dimension because the pet, and in particular the dog, sometimes remains their only social link, their only friend, and sometimes even their only reason to survive. Wanimo’s employees regularly participate in the association’s marauding in Lyon and have already carried out 2 operations to distribute kits for animals in the street: blankets and folding bowls. Each year, the calendar of the association is sold on the site of Wanimo.
The project: The Dômes Pharma Foundation has granted a subsidy to enable Gamelles Pleine to provide emergency assistance for the care of homeless animals, particularly in Toulouse in the context of the parvovirus epidemic.
The veterinarians in the sports sector of the Unit of Animal Husbandry and Sports Medicine (UMES) deal with sports dogs (such as agility dogs) and utility dogs (such as drug search dogs). The medicine of sport and utility dogs has three aspects: the preventive aspect, the diagnostic aspect and the aspect of optimising physical performance.
The project: NOSAÏS COVID: Training dogs to detect COVID 19
In March 2020, the UMES of Maisons Alfort, under the responsibility of Professor Dominique Grandjean, Professor at the Veterinary School of Maisons Alfort and Colonel of the Paris Fire Brigade, launched a study called NOSAÏS to verify the capacity of dogs already working with firefighters to identify patients with COVID 19 by smell. The tests carried out proved to be very positive, as 95% of the dogs tested identified the correct samples. These dogs required 4-5 days of training. Several trials have been launched in several regions of France, including Corsica, and in several countries including Belgium, Germany, Lebanon, Canada, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, with equally satisfactory results.
Since 2010, LES CHIENS DU SILENCE is an association that trains and gives free listening guide dogs to deaf or hard of hearing people. Hearing dogs alert deaf or hard of hearing people to the sounds of their daily lives and give them independence and confidence. The arrival of a hearing assistance dog changes the lives of these people: its mission is to replace their ears and reassure them in their daily lives!
At the end of their long training, all hearing assistance dogs are able to help at home to wake up in the morning, to indicate that the telephone is ringing, to show that a child is calling “mummy” or “daddy” or crying, to show the ringing of a door or an intercom, or outside to feel safe when using a bicycle, motorbike or scooter, a motorbike or scooter is coming from behind, to mark the arrival of a car, tram or metro, in a car to indicate the fire, police or ambulance siren or in general, all noises that can indicate danger!
The project: The Association approached the Foundation with the aim of obtaining a financial grant for the expansion of a kennel for its dogs. Biocanina joined the Foundation to support the association and to pay for part of the internal and external antiparasitics for the dogs in training.
The LA RONZIERE association houses 80 animals (horses, farm animals and pets) and welcomes, for animal mediation sessions, people from the Educational Medical Institutes, the Children’s Centre, the Emergency Adolescent Psychiatry Service of the Clermont CHU, but also residents of the EHPAD. A scientific committee participates in each session to observe and analyse practices. The association has to deal with the upkeep (food, care, etc.) of its animals, even though the mediation sessions have been partly interrupted due to the health crisis, and wishes to buy a disabled saddle and a safety ramp.
Project supported: The association has applied for a grant for operating costs.
Created in September 2019, the SOLIVET association supports the integration of people in very precarious situations, with their pets. In France, the Fondation Abbé Pierre estimates that nearly 902,000 people are without personal housing, including about 260,000 homeless people. Of these, up to a third may own a pet, i.e. approximately 100,000 homeless pet owners. SoliVet’s aim is to ensure that animals are no longer an obstacle to social inclusion and to staying in accommodation and housing, as animals are a strong social vector and an asset for housing.
Project supported: Initiate a 3-year programme to support 3 social structures that manage shelters for the homeless, with the aim of better integrating animals into their social work, by training the staff of these structures, proposing animal mediation activities and veterinary follow-up.
The mission of the Fondation Frédéric GAILLANNE is to provide young minors with sensory, motor or mental disabilities with guide dogs and other technical aids in order to give them access to all dimensions of the human experience and to enable them to develop their autonomy.
Project supported: The Dômes Pharma Foundation has awarded a grant to conduct a study on the impact of the daily provision of a dog to blind babies (from 15 months of age) by asking volunteer families to film targeted footage every month for two years, which will then be analysed in the long term by professionals. This project is a collaboration between the University of Lyon II, the CTRDV of Lyon and the PEP 69, the Mira Canada Foundation and the Fondation Frédéric Gaillanne.
The association AVA (Agir pour la Vie Animale) saves and protects old animals by opposing arbitrary slaughter and by taking care of each of them until the end of their lives. To this end, the animals are given a unique place to live dedicated to their well-being and a “retirement home” for elderly dogs. In 30 years, AVA has saved the lives of thousands of animals who were condemned because of their age, disability, illness, “troublesome” behaviour or simply because they had become “unprofitable”, “undesirable”. In 2019, the association tested a new pet therapy project that brings together patients suffering from post-traumatic stress (in partnership with the Victimology Institute) and the animals themselves, often victims of trauma and having escaped euthanasia.
The project supported: to perpetuate the pet therapy project for a second year. Based on the complicity between Man and Animal, this programme, tested in 2019, takes place at the Refuge over several months. It is subject to evaluation and scientific monitoring on both the human and animal levels. It has proven to be effective in recreating a social link both for these traumatised people and for the carefully selected animals that accompany them. This programme is aimed at both people and animals who have been badly affected by life. Beyond the differences between the two species, each living being finds comfort in the other. Each is there to give the other a little of what they lack, without judgement.
The association was created at the beginning of 2021 by two veterinarians who have been treating pets for more than 15 years. From their practice, they have learned that when an animal is ill and its owner cannot pay for its care, it is a tragedy for the animal, its family and also for the veterinary teams. Without a financial solution, the family is sometimes forced to consider euthanising the animal. This unbearable situation leads to a feeling of anger, injustice and incomprehension on the part of the owner, but also on the part of the veterinary teams, who are powerless in the face of these situations which go against their vocation of care. This is how they created Vetericare, which offers veterinarians a solution to finance the heavy care of animals in life-threatening emergency situations whose owners cannot afford the costs. With funds raised through sponsorship, membership and fundraising, Vetericare offers member veterinary facilities an online platform to submit requests for care. Requests are selected based on the type and prognosis of the disease, the owner’s income and the funds available.
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