Did you know that cities, counties, and states across America celebrate National Therapy Animal Day by passing official proclamations? This is a great way to spread awareness about the life-changing power of therapy animals, while also helping to educate our local policy makers that therapy animals are different from emotional support and service animals. Ask your local officials to celebrate therapy animals, whether you are a volunteer therapy animal team, someone who has benefitted from therapy animals in their personal life, or a professional practitioner of AAI.
The One Health Act is specifically designed to address zoonotic outbreaks by requiring the federal agencies whose jurisdictions include disease, animals, agriculture, the environment, and international trade to create a coordinated plan to prevent and respond to future situations like COVID-19 through the sharing of data, research and other assets to reduce bureaucratic inefficiency. Encourage Congress to support the One Health Act.
Are you a therapy animal handler? You may not know it, but you are an important resource to your state legislators. As states gear up for their legislative sessions, thousands of pieces of legislation will be introduced – some of which directly impact our work. Few legislators are experts on therapy animals, access, or the human-animal bond. Take this opportunity to introduce yourself to your legislator! Tell legislators about your work.
From children learning to read to seniors in residential care to individuals receiving medical treatments in clinical settings, therapy animals make a difference in people’s lives. However, therapy animals and their handlers who do not have sufficient training or screening can pose a risk. Help ensure that lawmakers understand the importance of therapy animal standards. Share information about standards that promote client and handler safety, as well as animal welfare.