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WHATTo help the elderly by providing a regular visitor along with their pet, and to increase morale and the activity level in nursing homes.
WHYTo stimulate senior residents who have been unresponsive. To relieve boredom for senior residents who are unable to leave their beds or rooms to participate in other nursing home activities.
WHERECapital Area Animal Welfare Society.
Baton Rouge,Louisiana, USA.

Program Description

"Studies have shown that pets can lower blood pressure, reduce stress and create a feeling of well-being, thus aiding in the healing process. And, that is just what the volunteers of the Capital Area Animal Welfare Society Pet Therapy program aim to do at local nursing and retirement homes."

Many senior residents in nursing homes will not respond to other people, staff or nursing home activities however, those same seniors have shown to respond to a dog visit.

Volunteer pet handlers and dogs visit seniors in nursing homes. Seniors are able to pet and hold animals, engage with them, communicate with them and use the senses of touch, smell, sound, sight, to their best ability.  

In order to allow dogs in nursing homes they must be:

- Gentle and well mannered
- Clean and flea free
- Receptive to strangers
- Friendly with other pets
- Current on all vaccinations

In addition to providing pet therapy in nursing homes, the Capital Area Animal Welfare Society also has pet adoption programs, foster pet programs, and spay and neuter programs.


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Pet Partners Therapy Animal Program - Program widely available across the United States, Canada, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Norway, and several other countries.
Trains pet owners and pets on how to visit nursing homes, hospice, hospitals, physical therapy centers, long-term care facilities and other facilities to provide animal assisted activities.

Therapy Dogs Inc. Program - Program available across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Territories. Provides registration, support, and insurance for those involved in volunteer animal assisted activities.

Pets on Wheels Program - Fairfax, Virginia, USA. Providing regular animal assisted therapy through pet and dog visits to nursing homes and assisted living by trained volunteers and approved pets.

FriendshipWorks PetPals Program - Boston Massachusetts, USA. Arranges for pets (cats and dogs) and their owners to make friendly visits providing animal assisted therapy to elderly in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

People Animals Love Program - Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. USA.
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New Orleans Visiting Pet Program - New Orleans, USA. Animal assisted activity program where volunteer pet handlers and their pets visit nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and other facilities.

Intermountain Therapy Animals Program - Utah, USA. Animal Assisted Activity/Therapy teams visit seniors in Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Centers, Alzheimer's Care Units, Hospitals, Veterans Hospitals, Hospices, Rehabilitation Centers and many other facilities.

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Find out more about the "Capital Area Animal Welfare Society – Pet Therapy" Program

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