DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) — A Quad Cities organization is calling on man’s best friend for help.
The Quad Cities Canine Assistance Network (QCCAN) hosts more than 200 events each year at nursing facilities, community events and schools aimed at helping people manage stress and relieve anxiety and depression.
“Our mission is to train highly skilled therapy dogs so that they and their handlers can volunteer throughout the community to enrich the lives of others,” said Angie Hall, president of Quad Cities Canine Assistance. Network.
Andrea Davis is one of the people QCCAN hopes to help.
“I have undiagnosed anxiety, so it’s very amazing that I can pet dogs and relax a bit and get over that anxiety for a little while,” Davis said. “When I see them in the hallway, or right now, I’m surprised and I’m just like, ‘Oh cool! There’s [dogs] here that I can caress”, and I am very happy.
The need for therapy dogs doesn’t seem to be going away. A 2021 Mayo Clinic study found that 44% of college students reported having symptoms of depression and anxiety.
“Dogs can really help reduce depression just by creating a happy atmosphere. Petting dogs, spending time with dogs can reduce feelings of loneliness, isolation and alienation,” Hall said. Spending time with a dog, petting it for a while can improve a person’s mood. You will see how calmly dogs lie down, and this calmness really helps to calm a person down as well.
Davis said she was grateful to be able to interact with QCCAN’s therapy dogs.
“It means I can relax a bit while I wait for my next class to start,” Davis said. “I am able to get rid of some of the stress I have between classes and work.”
Hall said QCCAN has more than 60 dogs, and more than 40 are certified therapy dogs and the rest are working to become certified.
To learn more about QCCAN and how to register your dog for therapy dog training, click or tap here.
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