Many clients can benefit from the inclusion of an animal into a goal oriented and structured therapeutic intervention. If you are interested in incorporating AAT as part of your professional application, consider partnering with a Pet Partners therapy animal team.
Although some professionals choose to use their own animal in AAT, partnering with a highly qualified volunteer is not only a valid choice, but in some cases better.
As a professional, your focus is on your client. Will handling an animal be a distraction? If you plan to use AAT for only certain parts of your day, where will your animal wait? How will you manage their need for breaks and stimulation? And keep in mind not every animal is well suited for therapy work. If your animal does not enjoy interacting with clients, does this mean you won’t offer AAT?
Instead consider a team who you schedule ahead of time for specific visits. Imagine being able to identify the most appropriate animal based on your client’s needs and preferences. You would have someone who can attend to the animal’s needs as they arise. Someone who has been trained and their animal has been vetted for safe interactions with strangers. This person and their animal can be an amazing resource for you and your client.
Pet Partners aggregates volunteer opportunities for all our handlers. You are invited to post a volunteer opportunity and interested therapy animal teams will contact you.
Pet Partners was founded by professionals who recognized the positive impact pets were having on the health and happiness of human clients and committed themselves to exploring the effects that animals have on people’s lives. We continue to support the growing body of research in this area and are happy to connect researchers to therapy animal teams in their area who might be able to participate in research opportunities.
If you are interested in working with the Pet Partners Therapy Animal Program for therapy animal research purposes, please review this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Pet Partners Research MOU Jul2015, and contact us for more information.