Pet therapy is a broad service discipline that includes animal assisted therapy and other animal activities. We have three major pet therapy/animal focused initiatives. Animal-assisted therapy is a growing field that uses dogs or other animals to help people recover from or better cope with health problems, such as heart disease, cancer and mental health disorders.
Paws Plus is our disabled pet placement program with a focus on people with disabilities.
Elder-to-Elder is a permanent pet placement program for at-risk veterans and seniors. It supplements area shelter ‘senior-to-senior’ placement programs for dogs and cats with ongoing social work supervision to ensure proper breed match, ongoing evaluation of animal care, walking, changing of litter boxes, and general placement success. It is also important that an at-risk pet recipient is not burdened with the loss of a placed pet or in reverse the pet is never stranded. Careful case assessment and progress notes are maintained with regular home visits.
Finally, A Rescue to Remember is our rescue and shelter program for at-risk animals. It protects these animals from harm or abuse and provides an available supply of animals for the service programs.
Pet therapy and Animal Support promotes physical, emotional, and mental wellness.
Some of the benefits of animal therapy programs
- lowers blood pressure
- improves cardiovascular health
- releases endorphins (oxytocin) that have a calming effect
- diminishes overall physical pain
- the act of petting produces an automatic relaxation response, in many cases reducing the amount of medication some need
- lifts spirits and lessens depression
- decreases feelings of isolation and alienation
- encourages communication
- provides comfort
- increases socialization and sense of community
- reduces boredom
- decreases anxiety
- helps children overcome speech and emotional disorders
- creates motivation for the client to recover faster
- reduces loneliness