As many people know, a pet can be a means of sanctuary and refuge for life’s difficulties. Our team at CORE has recognized for years that animal assisted therapy supports all residents in their physical and social rehabilitation because people often respond to animals in ways they never would to humans. Recent studies report that animals help people combat loneliness, depression, inactivity and stress because they provide unconditional affection, a perspective on life, a feeling of being needed and simple amusement. Animals help teach empathy and responsibility, boost physical activity and benefit a wide variety of people with special needs.
A sampling of the animals involved in animal assisted therapy that offer friendship, responsibility, and meaningful activity to residents include:
Bucky (black Barbado sheep)
Opie (retired show goat)
Jackson (minature horse)
Nicholas (minature horse)
DJ (Cedar Point’s cat)
Sadie (Cedar’s rescued Border Collie)
Oreo (Oak Point’s cat)
Due to their relatively short life spans, pets also teach humans about one of life’s more difficult realities. Dog Camp, a local pet boarding and grooming organization in Driftwood, Texas, has a strong relationship with CORE and its residents. This relationship has allowed our residents the opportunity to spend scheduled time at their facility caring for, playing with and assisting in the care of resident animals. Not only does this relationship with Dog Camp benefit our residents who volunteer there but those who are unable to volunteer as well.