Looks like dogs have some competition for the title of ‘man’s best friend – wolves.
A California animal sanctuary has been using wolves to help army veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
According to Sky News, wolves at the Lockwood Rescue Animal Rescue Center are teamed up with vets suffering from the condition to help them heal.
The project was set up by U.S. Navy vet Matt Simmons and Dr Lorin Lindner, a psychologist. Dr Lindner told Sky News:
These are wild animals who are choosing to make a relationship with you and that is profoundly important for someone suffering a traumatic stress disorder. One of the main symptoms of those disorders is the inability to trust, to build relationships, to feel like you’re safe.
These animals we are rescuing also have traumatic stress disorders, are also shy and have difficulty developing relationships and trusting again.
“These guys really don’t judge you, they really don’t care what you did before, they just care who you are and it is a really special bond, a special relationship,” said Jim Minick, another Navy vet.
And the wolves also benefit from the therapeutic programme, most of them were rescued from terrible conditions and the special relationship they have with the veterans helps rehabilitate them as well.
The project has been deemed more successful than regular therapy by many of the people on it. Minick said:
For me, it means a little more that this is an animal that’s not normally friendly with humans, they are very shy, they stay away from humans at all costs and here he is, I can walk down the side of the fence and call him and he comes running.