Intervention

FIELD REPORT
Year
: 2021  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 21--25

The Comfort Dog Project of Northern Uganda: An Innovative Canine-Assisted Psychosocial Trauma Recovery Programme


Meg Daley Olmert 
 Warrior Canine Connection, Boyds, Maryland, USA

Correspondence Address:
Meg Daley Olmert
Warrior Canine Connection, P.O. Box 147, Wittman, MD 21676
USA

In 2012, BIG FIX Uganda, an American-based animal welfare organisation, began offering veterinary health services and animal welfare education in northern Uganda to improve the wellbeing of animals and their guardians. In 2014, the organisation expanded its inclusive health platform with the creation of the Comfort Dog Project − an animal-assisted psychosocial intervention for survivors of war trauma through the facilitation of human-dog companionship. This article focuses on how blending community trauma counselling with dog training and bonding instruction can improve the social and emotional skills of dog guardians while creating loving, stress-buffering relationships with their dogs. Fifty-nine guardians and their comfort dogs graduated this 20-week animal assisted trauma intervention between 2015 and 2020. Psychological assessments taken pre- and post-graduation, as well as annual follow-up testing over a 4-year-period, indicate that this therapeutic model can be effective at reducing the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder and improving the wellbeing of both the guardians and their comfort dogs.


How to cite this article:
Olmert MD. The Comfort Dog Project of Northern Uganda: An Innovative Canine-Assisted Psychosocial Trauma Recovery Programme.Intervention 2021;19:21-25


How to cite this URL:
Olmert MD. The Comfort Dog Project of Northern Uganda: An Innovative Canine-Assisted Psychosocial Trauma Recovery Programme. Intervention [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 May 7 ];19:21-25
Available from: https://www.interventionjournal.org/article.asp?issn=1571-8883;year=2021;volume=19;issue=1;spage=21;epage=25;aulast=Olmert;type=0