The Importance of Therapeutic Animals Essay

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The Importance of Therapeutic Animals Why You Should Volunteer Your Pet Jennie Sides English Comp II Joan Snyder November 25, 2012 Many people are unfamiliar with the concept of Animal Assisted Therapy. Animal Assisted Therapy is defined by The American Humane Society (2012) as “a goal-directed intervention in which an animal is incorporated as an integral part of the clinical health-care treatment process. AAT is delivered or directed by a professional health or human service provider who demonstrates skill and expertise regarding the clinical applications of human-animal interactions”(p. 1). Therapy animals are helpful in many ways, but the most wide spread use of therapy animals is to help people get over depression, anxiety, and boost their morale, overcoming these symptoms can in turn help a person’s body to heal itself as well as fight infection as well as diseases. There have been studies that show that when a person is with a therapy animal for even 20 minutes, their levels of oxytocin (the same chemical released that causes a feeling of love in a person) is increased. It would be an amazing service to our community if everyone with a qualified animal offered their services for at least a year. Even if a person does not have a pet, he or she can still help, by volunteering at a pet shelter or offering to be a handler for a pet without a qualified owner. There are many ways people and their pets can help others. Perhaps one of the main reasons that Animal Assisted Therapy is so helpful is that volunteer work helps the volunteer as much as the patient and unlike cleaning a local park or other “boring” volunteer work, Animal Assisted Therapy is less like work and more like visiting a friend.

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