Canine Hope is our signature programme dedicated to working with survivors of rape and sexual violence, with rescue dogs as our canine co-tutors. It is the reason Canine Perspective CIC exists.
The aim of Canine Hope is to provide an innovative, constructive and proven resilience-building process of support to survivors of rape and sexual violence.
Canine Perspective CIC was established in 2014 due to the success of a teen fiction novel, Reggie & Me, written by Marie Yates, one of our humans. The book explores the journey of a teenage rape survivor and the impact of her rescue dog, Reggie, on her recovery. The relationship and the principles behind the story led to requests for support from survivors and those living and working with them. As a result of this, Canine Perspective CIC was created. All The profits from our work funds sponsored places on all of our programmes.
Canine Hope is delivered by Canine Perspective CIC with pop-up workshops across the UK every year. These workshops are available to people who are part of our virtual programme. We also work in partnership with charities and social enterprises working with survivors. We come to you and deliver the session(s) to a group of your clients, with a member of your staff team present. If you are interested in booking a Canine Hope programme or would like more information, please contact us.
You can read a blog about the impact of Canine Hope on one survivor here.
Why Dogs and Survivors?
Dogs are among the most resilient of animals. Our expectations of them within today’s culture in the UK surpass that of any other animal. Humans ‘train’ them to live in their home and expect them to understand the way they want them to behave. From the first day that they are taken away from their canine Mum, they have to adapt to a new way of life and that’s the best-case scenario. More and more dogs are now being abandoned to rescue centres, having been abused, neglected or simply misunderstood. Despite the horrendous experiences these dogs have faced, they learn to trust humans again. With the right understanding and approach, they thrive. The learnt behaviours that have developed through their mistreatment can absolutely be changed to reduce their fear and anxiety.
Utilising the stories of the rescue dogs, there can be objective discussions about new ways to approach surviving. With a renewed acknowledgement about the foundations of wellbeing, the focus shifts to the experience of the dog and questions can be raised that link directly to common characteristics of being a survivor. These are approached through questions about the dog and the way in which they express emotions and cope with these situations. The move to then teaching the dog new behaviours is done in parallel with goal setting for each person. As with the human participants, the cues and behaviours worked on with each dog are bespoke to their individual needs.
We have been lucky enough to work with Dr Ruth Jones OBE and Beverley Gilbert from the University of Worcester who evaluated Canine Hope and provided an extensive report on their findings of the programme’s social impact.
- Canine Perspective CIC is fully insured and details can be provided on request.
- Both directors of Canine Perspective CIC have up to date DBS certificates which can be provided on request.
- Marie Yates will lead every session and takes responsibility for the dog(s) joining the project.
- The dogs are sourced from reputable rescue centres and all of their policies and procedures will be fully upheld. If there is interest from a member of the group to adopt one of the participating dogs they will be subject to the rescue centre’s rehoming procedure. This is absolutely not the aim of the project!
- All training methods are 100% force-free using positive reinforcement; with the dogs and humans!
If you’re a charity or social enterprise who’s interested in the programme, please contact us.