Our Helpful Little Friends: Animals That Help People
The US Government has recently made an unusual decision. Now monkeys are officially allowed to help disabled people. And now we will tell you, how different animals help us.
Guide animals: horses and dogs
The most famous assistance animals are, of course, guide dogs. From their early age they are being taught skills that let them be a faithful and reliable satellite for a blind owner. Such dogs often orientate themselves in surrounding environment better than many people. They understand when a traffic light turns green, they are very neat and careful.
Dogs are thought to be used for helping blind people since medieval times, but it became a serious “work” only at the first half of the XXth century when guide dog training schools were founded in all the parts of the world. Golden Retrievers, Rottweilers, German Shepherds and Giant Schnauzers are supposed to be the best guides.
But not only dogs can be guides for blind people. Nowadays guide horses exist as well. Of course we don’t mean Arabian horses or Orlov trotters. Guide horses are miniature ones, whose height is about 86 cm. They keep earning popularity as guide animals due to their high intelligence, quiet temper and reacting to outward situations less than dogs.
Dolphins help fishermen
Brazilian city called Laguna is famous for an amazing symbiosis between local fishermen and ocean dolphins. Every morning dolphins swim to the shore and show people, where it is better to set up the nets to catch more fish. When marine mammals don’t appear, fishermen don’t go fishing at all - they know they catch nothing.
No one knows how this unbelievable collaboration between people and dolphins started. Scientists discuss its advantages for the dolphins. Fishing boats are supposed to scare the biggest fish that escape and become food for dolphins.
In Soviet Union dolphins were used for protecting maritime borders. The unique spy dolphin training school was founded in the oceanarium of Sevastopol. Using echolocation, spy dolphins were able to find naval mines and even underwater spies who tried to make their way to the USSR.
Anyway, it was impossible to train the dolphins to kill foreign spies using a lethal injection or becoming an alive bomb. They refused to complete such tasks. Such clever, kind-hearted animals!
A similar school has existed in the US for many years. Besides dolphins, it trains sea lions as well.
HeroRAT - rats saving people’s lives
Society doesn’t like rats that much, their name is even used as an offensive word in many languages. Anyway, these rodents fulfill a very important mission for mankind and humanity in Africa. Being a part of HeroRAT program they are trained to find and detonate mines, it usually leads to death.They sacrifice themselves for saving our lives.
Snake is another animal that has always been seen purely in a negative light. However, over time people found out snakes can be useful, too. For instance, venomous reptiles have already been used as a source of venom for antitoxins for many centuries. And now some snakes become masseurs as well. This kind of massage is told to be very relaxing and calming.
Of course they don’t use venomous snakes for snake massage. Because not all the snake species are dangerous for a human. Anyway, overcoming the fear of snakes is invaluable. So these snakes are also psychotherapists that help their “patients” struggle with phobias.
We have already mentioned dolphins in this review. They are great psychologists, too. There’s even a special kind of therapy in medical and psychological rehabilitation, called dolphin therapy. Communication with dolphins, swimming in a pool with them and even their ultrasound are thought to have a positive influence on those who suffer from psychological traumas, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism, hearing loss, aphasia, attention deficit disorder and some other diseases (of course, in combination with traditional medicine).
Dogs, cats, horses, rabbits and birds are also used in similar kinds of psychological rehabilitation. It’s called pet therapy.
Dogs detecting cancer
It’s common knowledge that dogs help the police detect criminals, drugs and explosives. But it turns out they can sniff cancer as well, even on an early stage of disease.
The most famous dog detecting cancer is Labrador retriever called Marine. She helps the doctors of an oncology clinic in South Korea. Marine has even been cloned, and her copies have the same skill.
Capuchin monkeys helping disabled people
Monkeys have found their place in health care, too, especially capuchins. Of course they can’t sniff cancer like dogs, but they can be perfect helpers for disabled people. They can quickly complete many casual tasks that would take a plenty of time if a person with a broken bone tried to do it himself.
Animal protectors suppose such a usage of monkeys to be cruel and unfair and try to resist it. However, such a collaboration was legalized in Kentucky, but only if a human is really disabled, not just a lazy person.
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