Therapy Dogs Coming to Children’s Hospital Zagreb

Total Croatia News

“We want to make children’s stay at our hospital easier and build their empathy at the same time. It is true that certified therapy dogs are coming to Children’s Hospital Zagreb.” Dr. Sanja Kolaček, head of Paediatrics revealed in an interview for 24 sata.

She is also the coordinator of the project Djeca prijatelji životinja (“Children, friends of animals”) that Children’s Hospital Zagreb (more commonly known as Klaićeva) has been working on together with the Croatian Guide Dog and Mobility Association.

“Children will learn about animals during the week, and workshops’ end will be spent socializing with therapy dogs. We expect the first workshop to start in three to four weeks. Parents and children older than 12 will have to sign a letter of consent.” Ms.Kolaček said. She pointed out that one of the project’s goals is to prevent animal abuse by teaching children how to treat them from an early age.
Leading hospitals around the world have been using therapy dogs as part of treatment for quite some time now.

Dr. Zoran Bahtijarević, hospital director, is happy that his hospital will be the first in Croatia to start this project.
“A committee to supervise and make the project happen has already been set up. As with any change that we introduce, we expect some resistance, by experts at the hospital, people outside the hospital, and even by parents. Resistance has always been central part of progress, but we have learnt how to work around it to make sure our youngest patients get world-class health care.” Mr. Bahtijarević added.
Weekly workshops will be organized as part of the project, where representatives of associations, paediatricians, psychologists and other experts will have a chance to deliver lectures on benefits of using therapy dogs in children’s hospitals.


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