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To establish national standards for the selection and training of service dogs for heart patients:- selection of dogs. Provide guidelines to facilitate the selection of dogs with the appropriate temperament, training aptitude and personality to become good service dogs.-training of dogs. Provide guidelines to insure that service dogs perform consistently at basic, intermediate, and advanced levels. To provide a supply of pre-trained dogs for heart patients.-establish networks with dog breeders, dog trainers, and the staff and volunteers of animal shelters and rescue organizations to improve the awareness of HTDI and encourage the training and certification of service dogs.-gift trained dogs to patients who can not afford to purchase and train a dog-provide trained dogs to more fortunate heart patients trhough select breeders and trainers. (Note: there is the potential here to provide homes for many of the unwanted dogs in animal shelters each year. If five percent of the 23 million patients in the USA were to acquire a new adult dog, this would provide one million dogs with homes.) To raise moneys to support the HTDI organization (an office, furniture, staff) and HTDI's activities and objectives, with an emphasis on support for further clinical studies.
We explore the rationale for the beneficial role of dogs in prolonging the lives of heart patients, and to develop/refine treatment methodology relating to dogs. We involve psychologists treating heart patients in collecting data. We are attempting to investigate the possibility that enzyme and other phsiological changes preceding heart attacks could be sensed by dogs, in the same way that selected dogs can sense imminent epileptic seizure. If true, dogs could eventually warn their owners of an immient heart attack.
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