The TOP Dogs therapy dogs have been making a huge difference in the schools, old-aged homes and courtrooms of South Africa for years.
South Africa (14 November 2023) – Top Dogs: Therapy Dogs is a local organisation that takes therapy dogs to visit the elderly and sickly on a voluntary basis. The adorable pups also help out in courtrooms and schools. Since reporting on them in 2019, the organisation has grown from strength to strength.
“Touch Our Pets” Therapy Dogs, more commonly known as TOP Dogs has teams on the East Rand, Pretoria, Johannesburg North and the West Rand. Their primary objective is to provide comfort and companionship by sharing the dogs with those in hospitals, care facilities, other institutions such as schools and wherever else the Therapy Dogs are needed.
Therapy Dogs elevate the mood of a facility in general, with those being visited showing an increase in happiness, calmness, and overall emotional well-being.
Studies have shown that a person holding, petting or talking to an animal will cause a lowering of blood pressure, relief of stress and tension, and an easing of loneliness and depression.
They recently took to Facebook to share all the spaces their volunteers work.
“These therapy dogs and their owners work together as a team to provide comfort, support, and companionship to those in need. Some of the settings where TOP Dogs can be found include:
1. Hospitals: Therapy dogs visit patients in hospitals, providing emotional support and helping to alleviate stress and anxiety. They can bring joy and comfort to patients, families, and healthcare staff.
2. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities: Therapy dogs can spread smiles to the elderly residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. They offer companionship and can help reduce feelings of loneliness and depression.
3. Schools and universities: Therapy dogs are often present in schools and universities to assist students during exams or stressful periods. They can help reduce anxiety and create a calming atmosphere for students.
4. Libraries: Some libraries have therapy dog programs where children can read to a dog. This helps improve literacy skills and boosts confidence in young readers.
5. Courtrooms and legal settings: Therapy dogs may be present in courtrooms to provide comfort and support to victims or witnesses, especially children, during difficult legal proceedings.
These are just a few examples of the various settings where TOP Dogs and their owners work together to improve the lives of others through therapy dog interventions.”
You can find out more about the organisation via Facebook here.