Top 10 Therapy Animals

From an alpaca to a monkey, TIME highlights the animals that help provide healing and companionship to people with special needs around the world

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12 comments
HumAnimaCIC
HumAnimaCIC

It's a real shame that you've included such ethically questionable initiatives in this piece - Dolphin Assisted Therapy (DAT) is fraught with ethical and moral issues not least due to issues surrounding captivity. Similarly, the situation with Helping Hands is morally grey at best due to their removing the monkey's teeth when training them so they don't bite. If you can't train the animal not to bite then it shouldn't be used as a service animal!


Also, the term "Animal Assisted Therapist" is misleading - you can't be an Animal Assisted Therapist as "Animal Assisted Therapy" is an approach used as part of a health or human service professional's toolkit rather than a title per se. 


We were interviewed by @acsifferlin a few years ago, for TIME (See "The Dog will See you Now") as I run a social enterprise here in the UK specialising in teaching other professionals how to use the approach safely, ethically and with consideration for their companion animal friends. When referring to my Co-Therapists for example, I don't "use" them, I work WITH them. 


A bit more homework would have been beneficial before posting this piece.

talking2animals
talking2animals

I think it works both ways with animals, we can heal them on emotional levels and they can do the same to us.

MandyHarris
MandyHarris

No Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses? Really. I follow them on Facebook. They work with 25,000 people a year inside hospitals all over the country. They were at Sandy Hook Elementary and with children hit by tornados in Oklahoma and with child trafficking survivors and so much more.


GeoffLee
GeoffLee

Ah... very lovely animals!

BenGrimey
BenGrimey

Cannot comprehend my world without animal companions, 8 cats, 4 dogs, all beloved friends. 

AdrianaMallozzi
AdrianaMallozzi

You don't "suffer" from a disability (ie., pic #4), you just have it.  It's like saying one suffers from short-sightedness.

SueWilk
SueWilk

No cats in here? Unfortunate that they're often overlooked as pet therapists since most of them are highly intuitive creatures. I know mine is.

Casey's my 14 year old cat I got 12 years ago as a rescue. He was always very friendly...loved people & seemed highly in tune with my own health issues, so when I took him to be evaluated for the pet therapy program at the local hospital, he passed with flying colors. He's semi-retired now...only looks after me at this point, but he's saved my life multiple times (He wakes me up when I spike fevers in the middle of the night, or alerts me to an impending issue by "hovering" days before the issue becomes apparent to me.) I think I'm quite enough for him to handle. lol.

More people should consider cats as pet therapists. I love mine. :)

silverose
silverose

Wow, that miniature horse Tootsie is so beautiful

garycravt
garycravt

аутизм, болезнь Дауна, ДЦП это все неизлечимо. хоть с тура до вечера плавай с дельфинами, общайся с лошадками ничего не поможет.

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