A-Animals

Why consider animals?

Human physiology is positively altered in the presence of animals. Therapists, medical professionals, hospice workers, hospitals, and veteran recovery programs have introduced pets to provide comfort and healing to those living with grief and trauma. Over the past decade, many doctors, dentists, veterinarians, and health clinics have added freshwater aquariums to their
waiting rooms because of the meditative effects of hearing bubbling filters and watching fish swim. Whether large or small, with fins or fur, animals are natural healing resources.

How do animals promote healing?

• By decreasing feelings of loneliness and isolation
• By relieving symptoms of anxiety and depression
• By increasing the level of the “happy hormone,” oxytocin
• By improving overall heart health

Resources

Books

Organizations

  • National Service Animal Registry – Facts related to owning Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)
  • Emotional Support Animal Center services a population of individuals who suffer from emotional and psychological distress in various aspects of their lives. The Center strives to provide sufficient information on its website to enable these individuals to determine whether they may qualify to have their pets classified as Emotional Support Animals.
  • Pets Healing Vets’ goal is to improve the emotional well-being of Hoosier veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) by pairing them with carefully selected shelter dogs or cats in need of homes.

How might you incorporate animals into your healing journey?