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Puppy power changing children’s lives

Mineral Resources has donated two therapy puppies to help more WA children with disabilities experience the life-changing benefits of dog-assisted therapy.

Therapy dog Nellie

Image: therapy dog Nellie.

Donated at the Leeuwin Lunch for Telethon, the puppies will join the Kites Children’s Therapy team, who deliver one of the few dog-assisted therapy programs in Western Australia. Our contribution covers the puppies, training and all costs associated with a lifetime of care including food and vet treatment.

The addition of two new highly trained therapy dogs means Kites will be able to support an additional 160 Western Australian children and their families across Perth.

The therapeutic benefit of animals has long been recognised. Kites uses highly trained dogs and qualified occupational therapists to deliver creative ways for children of all ages, with various  disabilities including autism, developmental delays and sensory impairment, to achieve their therapy goals.

There are a range of positive outcomes for the children, including greater motivation to engage in therapy sessions, emotional regulation with the dogs providing a calming effect, and play and communication skills.

Sixteen-year-old Eitan is a dog therapy success story. Eitan is a non-verbal autistic teen and in recent years, one of the biggest barriers impacting his life was his phobia of dogs, which limited his ability to visit public places.

Eitan with therapy dog Bazza

Image: Eitan with therapy dog Bazza.

Eitan’s mum discovered Kites’ dog assisted therapy program and after just six weeks working with Occupational Therapist Brianna and therapy dog Bazza, Eitan has experienced many benefits that have had a positive impact on his day-to-day life. Bazza has helped Eitan work through his phobia and the two have developed a strong bond.

“We regard it as a very successful experience,” says Eitan’s mum Talya.

“We thought it was a good therapy for Eitan and would thoroughly recommend it to others.”

We’re so happy to be able to support a program that’s making a life-changing difference to WA children.