Animal-Assisted Activity & Therapy
Animal-Assisted Activity (AAA) are goal-directed activities that provide motivational, informational, and/or recreational benefits to enhance quality of life through utilization of the human-animal bond. Animal –Assisted Therapy (AAT) utilizes the human-animal bond in goal-directed interventions as an integral part of the treatment process. It is delivered and/or directed by a health or human service provider working within the scope of his/her profession. Animal-Assisted Therapy is designed to promote improvement in human physical, social, emotional and/or cognitive functioning. The process is documented and evaluated (from Animals in Institutions , Delta Society). According to research, keeping close contacts with animals brings many positive physical and psychological effects. Studies have shown that patients who had long-term contact with animals had lower average blood pressure and lower cholesterol level than those who did not. In addition, for those who are afflicted by stress or psychological influences, animals can help them lessen and relieve the stress, and minimize the effects of illness. British and Australian studies show that animal-assisted therapy can help patients to temporarily forget their suffering, relieve their feeling of loneliness, and improve their confidence.