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WHATProvides animal assisted therapy visits to older adults in skilled nursing care, hospitals and other facilities.
WHYTo provide older adults and others with mental, physical and emotional stimulation and social interaction.
WHEREPet Encounter Therapy Program.
Helen Woodward Animal Center.
San Diego, California, USA.

Program Description

“During our PET visits, we’ve seen movement from unresponsive patients or heard words spoken for the first time– all to the amazement of fellow residents and staff members.”

“The program provides opportunities for people with special needs to
experience the benefits of human-animal interaction. Along with being enjoyable for the people we visit, the interactions can also provide stress reduction, relaxation, lowered blood pressure, increased attention span, increased memory recall, and improved self esteem.”

Animal assisted therapy visits are provided for free or at low-cost to nursing care facilities and hospitals.

The Pet Encounter Therapy Program makes visits with animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and birds. Volunteers with the program may also use their own animals.

Animal assisted therapy visits have shown that petting and holding an animal provides older adults with increased relaxation, lower blood pressure, improved memory and sensory stimuli.

Volunteers who would like to take their pet to a nursing home for the program will be screened and should be trained, neutral with other animals, and current on vaccines.

Senior groups also have the option to visit the Helen Woodward Animal Center for on-site programs.

Helen Woodward Animal Center is a no-kill facility with a mission of people helping animals and animals helping people. The center provides animal adoption, education and animal assisted therapy programs for people.

Aging Programs
Elderly Nursing
Nursing Home Activities
Animal Assisted Therapy and Activities
Pets and Seniors Companionship
Service Dogs for Elderly
Terminally Ill & Their Pets




Find out more about the Pet Encounter Therapy Program

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