CUPA: where compassion becomes the passion

Betsy is a one-year old Cocker Spaniel dog rescued by Compassion Unlimited Plus Action?(CUPA). You will be mesmerised if you look into her eyes. She is a friendly dog and loves people, especially children. Raja is a one and half year old black Pomeranian dog at CUPA. He loves to play. These are just two bundles of joy at CUPA, there are many more. Some even have a mission. Just like Luxmi.

Luxmi is a Dr. Dog at CUPA. Her daily routine includes visiting the Christle House for the unfortunate children without homes and families. She brings them joy and peace. She is equally welcomed at the old age homes and the playschools for the challenged. She came to CUPA in a fledgling stage, about 10 years ago. Her foreleg was badly hurt and had to be amputated. Her adorable nature made her a natural choice for the Dr. Dog Programme. Today she is an active, bouncing and lively member of the CUPA shelter and is a living example of an abandoned dog who bounced back to life to fill the lives of the less fortunate with an abundance of joy….the true spirit of Dr. Dog Programme or the Canine Therapist Programme.

The Canine Therapist Programme works on the principle that being in close contact with animals can have remarkable benefits on the physical and psychological well being of people. Closeness with animals have a natural healing effect on many medical conditions and statistics show that the average blood pressure and cholesterol level of patients owning pets are lower than those who do not. The companionship of animals helps to ease stress and tension, thus lowering risk of becoming sick. Surveys show that when patients are able to give their attention to an animal, they are able to forget their own suffering for a while. Simply, being in close contact with an animal makes you feel good!

Introduction of Canine Therapist Programme

This project is initiated by CUPA in Bangalore where animals are a source of joy, happiness, and provide therapeutic and stress treatment to mentally challenged children, autistic children, old age homes, hospitals, AIDS patients and terminally ill cancer patients .

Benefits of Canine Therapy

Autistic children who have become silent and withdrawn have been gently encouraged to open their hearts and share their problems. Some memorable moments in homes for the elderly have shown how much people look forward to the visits from their canine therapist.

CUPA inception

The Canine Therapist Programme is just one of the activities at CUPA which was founded in 1991 by Ms. Crystal Rogers, a lady of British origin who had settled in India. From two tiny rooms in the home of its Founder President, CUPA today operates from three centres within a total operating land area of ten and a half acres. At a very tender age, Ms. Rogers’ world-view encompassed humans and animals that needed help or protection. Animals remained her greatest passion and interest in life. Appalled by the miserable plight of the animals, Ms. Rogers decided to stay in India and founded Animals’ Friend in Delhi in 1959. The first organisation of its kind in India, it was an ideal shelter to give refuge to abused and abandoned animals. She was also one of the founder members of mobdro ios the Animal Welfare Board of India, together with Mrs. Rukmini Devi Arundale. This was established by the Government of India in March 1962. Impressed by her work, the Government of India not only gave her land for her work but honoured her with ‘Prani Mitra Award’ (Friend of all Animals). Ms. Rogers influenced an entire generation of young men and women who are actively involved today in the field of animal welfare and animal rights in India. In 1978, she established Help-In-Suffering, the HIS sanctuary in Jaipur. The same year, Ms. Rogers was honoured with the Richard Martin Award by the RSPCA, equivalent to the Queen Victoria Medal, for her invaluable contribution to the field of animal welfare.

Though Ms. Crystal Rogers is no more with us (she passed away in 1996), her life remains a source of inspiration to yet another generation of young animal welfare workers and activists.

For more info, contact: Compassion Unlimited Plus Action?–?CUPA, CUPA-UAS Veterinary Hospital & Shelter, Veterinary College Campus, Hebbal, Bangalore – 560 024, Tel: 91-080-23413427/ 23419177, e-mail:cupablr@vsnl.net or visit www:cupabangalore.org

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