Initiative described as “extremely beneficial”
Around 40 people with disabilities supported by the Algarve Association of Mental Health (ASMAL) have been visiting Olhão’s municipal kennel at least once a week, helping walk its many dogs.
“It is a truly symbiotic relationship in which everyone wins,” said the local councillor in charge of animal well-being, Ricardo Calé.
The management of ASMAL says these visits are “extremely beneficial” for the people supported by the association, as they help “reduce anxiety levels, depression and solitude, increase motivation and promote their social life.”
The visits are also beneficial for the animals, which have the opportunity to go out for walks and socialise whilst waiting to find their forever home.
Adds Calé, this initiative is part of a larger effort to “bring the community closer to the local kennel and the animals that live there, contributing to greater knowledge and awareness about this reality.”