Doctor Peyo and Mister Hassen, Contemporary issues nominee: Manon (24), who has metastatic cancer, … [+] PHOTO: JÉRÉMY LEMPIN, FRANCE – WORLD PRESS PHOTO
Animal-assisted therapy, also known as pet therapy, is used in clinical environments, especially in psychological therapy and palliative care. Animals appear capable of reducing anxiety and stress, and to have physical effects such as lowering blood pressure, improving heart rate, and helping in pain management.
Some hospices use the natural bond between humans and animals to provide comfort, peace, and companionship to terminally ill patients. Horses seem particularly suited for palliative care as they are especially in tune with their surroundings. Peyo works with his trainer, Hassen Bouchakou, at Les Sabots du Coeur, an organization devoted to animal-assisted therapy, and to scientific research in Calais, France.
He supports around 20 patients each month and scientists are now studying his instinctive ability to detect cancers and tumors.