Supervised, casual, spontaneous interaction
between animals and people
The formal definition
of Animal-Assisted Activities (AAA):
provides opportunities for motivational, educational, recreational,
and/or therapeutic benefits to enhance quality of life.
delivered in a variety of environments by specially trained
professionals, paraprofessionals, and/or volunteers, in association
with animals that meet specific criteria."
of Practice for Animal-Assisted Activities and Therapy"
Individual organizations which promote and practice
specialize in one particular type of animal in their programs, but
almost every animal, from Guinea Pigs,
have been and can be successful, when matched with a compatible
patient. All animals can have a positive effect on human health,
when they are well socialized, trained, handled & supervised by a
skilled volunteer/health professional and selected, based upon a
patient's individual needs, preferences and ultimate goals. Needs,
expectations and goals, should be discussed and defined in advance,
by collaboration between the patient (or legal guardian), an
and ideally the patient's regular physician as well.
particular, are excelling at, and producing significant measurable
results through Animal Assisted
Animal Assisted Therapy
worldwide interest and support for alternative methods of human
health care increase, animals should finally get the recognition
they deserve, as a legitimate complement to traditional forms of
medicine & treatments.
This is a documented and undisputed fact, which by itself, proves
Value & Health Benefits
The Maximum Value &
Health Benefits are yet to be
determined, but hopefully much more will be scientifically proven in
the near future, based upon the rapid growth and quality of
professionals who are entering this relatively new field of study.
This should come as no surprise to anyone who has shared their life
with animals, especially dogs, whose main goal is to love and please
the humans in their lives, including often times, total strangers.
Animals have the innate ability to detect emotions in people, from
clues which are invisible to humans and many will instinctively
comfort a person whom they sense is in distress and in need of some
in the mainstream!
The health benefits of
have only recently begun to receive
There is still a long way to go and much more work and research is
needed to see just how powerful a treatment,
(AAT) can be.
When combined with traditional forms of western medicine, selected
eastern remedies, plus other overlooked therapies, who knows what
ills can be cured?
When a knowledgeable,
open minded healer,
treats a courageous
and receptive patient,
may just be the final ingredient to a cure for many serious
Who can say whether
could have gone either way, pulled through a potentially fatal
illness, due in part to the
of a special
Perhaps there is more to the healing
animals than what
our current assumptions are based upon. A theory known as "Energy
Transfer," might help explain, why
may lay around his/her home, uncharacteristically lethargic &
inactive, sometimes for days after particularly stressful visits
with extremely ill & very weak or depressed patients. "Energy
Transfer," is by no means an
accepted, proven scientific fact, yet,
but this concept and other theories will be studied and debated in
much greater depth, as the health
now offering courses and degrees in the science of
They are teaming up with local (AAT)
organizations, which provide students with hands on learning,
internships and volunteer opportunities. While as of now, it may be
difficult to earn a nice living in this field alone, it is
definitely a way to do something you love, make a positive
difference in the lives of others and be in on the ground floor of
what could prove to be the most revolutionary, simple & inexpensive
advancement in health care, seen in ages!
With a pure heart, some creative thinking and perhaps an education
in teaching or health care, with some business courses as well,
opportunities to make a decent living in this field and contribute
positively to society, should certainly be possible!
Organizations involved & making a difference!
North American Riding
for the Handicapped Association