The Canine Partner of our co-researcher Sally Whitney has received an RSPCA Honour. Last month, Sally and Ethan attended an award ceremony in London where Ethan was awarded the Amazing Animal Award – recognition for an animal “who has cared for and shown compassion to a person and made a difference to their life.”
Sally said, “It is fantastic that the RSPCA have recognised the life-changing care that Ethan and all assistance dogs provide for young, disabled people. This honour highlights how transformational receiving care from a canine can be and show cases the extraordinary relationships that can result.”
Sally is leading a key Living Life to the Fullest impact project – The Canine Care Project. In collaboration with Canine Partners, a registered charity that partners specially trained assistance dogs with disabled people, in this small impact project we will evidence and quantify the benefits of assistance dogs for disabled young people with LL/LTIs. We are doing so because our preliminary project findings have emphasised the benefits of assistance dogs for disabled young people living with life limiting and life threatening impairments (hereby LL/LTIs). Specifically, our focus in Living Life to the Fullest has developed from hearing young people’s stories about their relationships with their assistance animals, and the meaning this form of care and support has in their lives. To give some examples, young people’s stories have emphasised: (i) the positive emotional impacts of this form of support; (ii) the emergence of new intimacies between humans and animals; (iii) the ways in which assistance animals contribute to the building of positive identities and futures; and (iv) how they can transform the social lives and experiences of disabled young people with LL/LTIs.
To learn more about The Canine Care Project please see here.