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FOUR PAWS opens new centre for animal-assisted therapy in Bucharest

FOUR PAWS founder and president Heli Dungler & Dr. Anca Tomescu, Head of FOUR PAWS Stray Animal Care Romania
© FOUR PAWS | Bogdan Baraghin

FOUR PAWS has opened a new Animal-Assisted Therapy Centre in the Romanian capital, in which trained former stray dogs will offer therapy to children with disabilities. At the new centre, which officially opened last week, children with a range of disabilities will be offered support and therapy from the dogs and their handlers, completely free of charge, as the centre is 100% financed by donations.

Centre officially opens!

The centre, which officially opened last week, gives FOUR PAWS the opportunity to help both humans and animals at the same time and also show the world how valuable stray dogs can be to society.


This centre is the first of its kind in Romania, where strays trained as therapy dogs are able to help children with disabilities and learning difficulties. The dogs are always accompanied by their trained dog handlers and the sessions are overseen by a qualified physiotherapist.

Therapy dog Mulan loves to play with children.

The positive effects of animal-assisted therapy have long been underestimated, however this centre will show how dogs can help to improve the physical and emotional wellbeing of children through therapy sessions. For example, children with disabilities can improve their self-confidence with the help of animal-assisted therapy by learning how to feed and reward a dog. Unlike humans, animals approach the children in a completely unbiased way. Strays are particularly well suited to this kind of work because of their adaptability and generally good nature.

© FOUR PAWS | Bogdan Baraghin