Pet Therapy Program
Hot Springs Animal Services Pet Therapy is a program that brings the healing presence of animals to people in healthcare facilities in the greater city area. An animal visit can offer entertainment or a welcome distraction from pain and illness. Animal visits provide something to look forward to as we regularly call on local nursing homes and assisted living facilities. View our newsletter and subscribe for future updates.
Studies have proven that visiting with animals can help people feel less lonely and less depressed. Petting encourages use of hands and arms, stretching and turning. For the elderly, pet visits can be a reason to get out of bed and start the day. Depressed patients who were unwilling to work to regain lost abilities resulting from stroke, when given an animal to interact with, begin to smile and cooperate with their therapists.
Pet Therapy has a positive effect on the resident's physical, emotional and social interactions with others. It also reduces stress and helps the residents / patients have a meaningful stay and/or recovery.
Animal interaction has been shown to reduce blood pressure, increase sensory stimulation and reduce loneliness by creating a sense of companionship.
These special volunteers bring warmth and love to people who aren't able to experience the joys of pet ownership. All dogs and puppies who go on these visits have been temperament-tested and love the extra attention they receive.
As of October 2004, our group has logged over 1,200 hours of volunteer time. The funds used for this program come from donations and volunteer dues.