About us

Cani da Vita

Ever since its foundation, San Patrignano has always paid special attention to animals.. Vincenzo Muccioli immediately realized that breeding could be one of the most effective ways to raise motivation and awareness in boys and girls throughout their rehabilitation.
Drug addiction can be seen as a lack of “life”, as the decision to stop living, to let oneself go. This is why San Patrignano believes in the principle to transfer life into everyday life, any form of life, including animals. From a therapeutic point of view, living and working with animals is a basic element, since taking care of them means to take care of a life, which is essential to learn how to take care of oneself. Scientific research agrees with the fact that it is a pleasure to look after an animal, from both an affective and emotional point of view. Taking care of an animal, looking after it and stroking it makes us feel alive, useful, responsible, able to love and to be loved, for free.
San Patrignano’s centre in Trento opened its doors in 1997, when the “Cani da Vita” (“dogs for life”) association was founded. The aim of “Cani da Vita” was to deepen the issues regarding man-animal relations and offer support to people with disabilities. Since then, the two centres in Trento and Verona have carried out about 40.000 hours of Animal Assisted Activities, Therapy and Education and organized various public meetings to introduce this form of gentle therapy. Furthermore, since 2002, about a hundred professionals with different specializations in the field of pet therapy have also been trained thanks to this project.
“When we started addressing this issue, we realized how important professionalism and scientific analysis are, but we believe that an outstanding result can be achieved by associating the heart to professionalism.”
Currently, “Cani da Vita” has 23 dogs (mainly Labrador and Golden Retrievers, but also mongrels, recovered from dog pounds), 14 dog handlers, one educationalist and two educators. In cooperation with local and national bodies, the educators carry out a deep information and update activity in San Vito (Trento) and at the ULSS (Local Health and Social Care Service) of Marzana (Venice) addressed to people who regularly work to fight various forms of disadvantage.


Ever since 1997, “Cani da Vita” has been able to implement its many activities thanks to the cooperation of:
A.N.F.F.A.S Trentino Onlus, ULSS 20 of Marzana, Verona (C.E.O.D., Coop. Luce e Lavoro, R.S.A., C.D.R., Scuola A. Sartori), Piccola Opera di Borgo Valsugana, CS4 of Pergine Valsugana (Trento), Casa del Sole Trento, Grazie Alla Vita of Mezzolombardo (Trento), Centro per l’autismo Rovereto (Trento), Istituto Comprensivo Trento 4, ULSS 18 Rovigo, Fondazione Villa Sant’Ignazio (Trento), Istituto Comprensivo Pergine 2, Casa di Riposo Santo Spirito Pergine Valsugana (Trento), Progetto 92, Fantini Sport Tour Riccione, Istituto Comprensivo Aldeno-Mattarello, Scuola Sanzio (Trento), Istituto Rosmini (Trento), Residenza per anziani “Casa Santa Maria” Vigolo Vattaro (Trento), Coop. Sociale “Il Kaleidoscopio” Povo (Trento) Progetto 2You del Ministero della Pubblica Istruzione, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie, Associazione Oltre il Labirinto Onlus Treviso , Associazione AREP Treviso and may other Associations, Bodies, Education Centres, Schools and Health and Social Care Services;
Many of our activities have been sponsored by the following Institutions:
Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Education, Trentino Alto Adige Region, Autonomous Province of Trento, Veneto Region, Municipality of Pergine Valsugana, Emilia Romagna Region.
By the following Trade and Professional associations:
Associazione Professionale Nazionale Educatori Cinofili, Libertas, Federazione Italiana Sport Cinofili.
In particular, “Cani da Vita” was able to carry out 1.200 hours of pet therapy in Trentino Alto Adige between 2011–2012 thanks to the cooperation of:
Animal Assisted Therapy, Animal Assisted Activity and Animal Assisted Education, carried out with:
• A.N.F.F.A.S Trentino Onlus
• Fondazione Villa Sant’Ignazio (Trento)
• Grazie Alla Vita di Mezzolombardo (Trento)
• Istituto Rosmini (Trento)
• Istituto Comprensivo Pergine 2 Pergine Valsugana (Trento)
• Istituto Marie Curie Pergine Valsugana (Trento)
• Associazione Edu@care (Trento)
• Istituto Comprensivo Bassa Val di Sole “Giovanni Ciccolini” Malè (Trento)
• Nuova Casa Circondariale di Trento
• Associazione Oltre il Labirinto Onlus Treviso
• Associazione Arep Treviso