Happy Paws Happy Hearts clients Tim and Charne with RSPCA puppies Flake and Crunchy and Disability Services Minister Coralee O'Rourke.
Happy Paws Happy Hearts clients Tim and Charne with RSPCA puppies Flake and Crunchy and Disability Services Minister Coralee O'Rourke. Geoff Egan

The amazing gift this organisation gives the disabled

RSPCA puppies and Queenslanders with disabilities have each other's backs.

The Happy Paws Happy Hearts programs is connecting puppies at the RSPCA Wacol campus with people with a disability to help create positive social experiences for both.

HPHH clients such as Tim and Charne visit the Wacol RSPCA campus once a week to see puppies including Flake and Crunchy.

HPHH program assistant Brooke Leatham said the program was started to help people who were isolated.

The program started about 18 months ago helping elderly people connect with animals and moved into disability support earlier this year.

"We actually started trying to include elderly people in the community to give them a place where they could come and spend time with animals," she said.

"But we quickly discovered that the benefits of animal therapy can be applied to a much broader community."

The program also helps the rescue puppies learn social skills and bond with people. Rescue puppies spend much of their lives in kennels.

The program has received a $3000 grant from the Queensland Government to run programs during Disability Action Week in September.

Disability Services Minister Coralee O'Rourke said the program was doing great work.

"I've seen today some of the great interactions Tim and Charne are having with their puppies. So it's really great to see that they've been able to engage and really enjoy their time with Happy Paws Happy Hearts," she said.

"The benefits that Tim and Charne have shown cannot be underestimated." - ARM NEWSDESK



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