The Pet Encounter Therapy Program (P.E.T.) provides children and adults confined to institutional settings for a variety of reasons with the unconditional love and tactile benefit of our animal ambassadors, including rabbits, dogs, cats, lizards, birds, snakes, and guinea pigs. The benefits of this phenomenal program are substantial and include drawing out clients who have been through severe trauma or depression and providing joyful moments to those who are suffering daily, both physically and psychologically. Many of our clients are unable to interact with other people and fear judgment of their physical appearance or of the things they have gone through, but animals have an amazing ability to love them for who they are in a completely unconditional way.
The impact of a therapy animal when someone is struggling with depression, illness, and pain is well-documented. We know that pets improve our outlook on life, decrease the need for medication, improve memory, lower blood pressure, and actually extend our life span. The service that Pet Encounter Therapy provides gives our clients a distraction, a way to reach out to other people and counselors, and oftentimes a renewed sense of hope for happiness and pure joy. The program serves 20,000 people per year at no charge to nonprofit organizations and a minimal mileage fee to for-profit agencies.