Animal Therapy

Feb 18, 2012 By Katie, 11

An animals eyes have the power to speak a great language. “Until one has learned to love an animal, a part of ones soul remains unawakened (Anatole France).” In 1999, a care center carefully followed a certain 92 patients. These patients all had the same heart disease. 53 of those patients had a pet with them almost all of the time. Out of those 53, only 3 died in a year’s time. The other 39 did not have pets, or chose not to love them. Out of those 39, 11 died in a month’s time.

So what is the science behind animals and their miraculous healings?

Animals and Autism

Being around house hold pets can be a great addition to an autistic child’s life. Autistic children often use expressions in place of words. Therapists have realized that verbal relationships may be overwhelming to the autistic child. But because an autistic child’s relationship with an animal is usually non-verbal, therapists have noticed that autistic children often interact with animals easier than they do humans. One study showed that when a therapist tried to play a give and take game and talk to the child, the child lost interest in about one minute. However, when they brought a dog into the room that the child had played with before, the child immediately picked up the ball and started to play fetch with the dog.

Sweethearts and Seniors

These 4 legged therapists don’t just help children with disabilities, they are also therapeutic to the elderly. Now, I’m not just talking about cats and dogs- even pigs, goats and geese have been found to bring joy to the elderly. Over the years, traveling petting zoos have become more and more of a popular hang out for the elderly, giving them an opportunity for physical exercise and social interactions. National studies have also confirmed that petting an animal relieves stress and lowers blood pressure and serves as a distraction from physical and emotional pain. Having a pet, gives a sense of purpose to those who feel worthless, and companionship to those who are alone. It has been found that when some elderly people hold puppies or kittens close to their bodies, they remember similar pets they had when they were young. A little kitty on their lap makes a good companion.

Friends and Fighters

What’s the cure for a 7 foot soldier’s depression? Paws and hooves… The US Army is increasing use of animal therapy, specifically with dogs and horses, to help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, According to the report “Depression: Gaps and Guideposts”, about 20 percent of people living with depression have used animal therapy in treatment, with 54% finding it “extremely” or “quite a bit” useful.

Under a bill written by Senator Al Franken, veterans with PTSD (depression) will get service dogs as part of a pilot program run by the Department of Veterans Affairs in an effort to provide more support for animal therapy in severe emotional disorders for soldiers. The dogs are trained to help jolt a soldier from a flashback, dial 911 on the phone, and even sense a panic attack before it starts

Chris Goehner, a 25-year-old Iraq war veteran, reported that he was able to cut his doses of anxiety and sleep medications in half after getting one of the service dogs. He also saw an end to his night terrors and suicidal thoughts. His dog has been trained to wake him from a nightmare from licking his face. A great relationship between friends and fighters


Animal Therapy offers children, seniors, or even soldiers with an opportunity for companionship - a relationship that is the greatest one may ever know, a reason for living and a new life!

Lily10   41 weeks ago


megans   2 years ago

That's awesome what animals can do.

Rayan1   2 years ago

my cat is funny!!!

Tressa   3 years ago

We are trying to train our dog to be a therapy dog.

Olivia123   3 years ago

Great article, dogs are such helpful animals. Its amazing to hear storys like these! GO DOGS!

laquanzhaneeh   4 years ago

it works

elisabetht2   4 years ago

This is amazing! I know someone who was in the war who got a dog because the dog helped him calm down. And a boy that had troubles breathing and the dog saved his life.

nickm2   4 years ago

Everyone should know how to do animal therapy.

JENNAH H_C   4 years ago


Raptorman2012   4 years ago


katieb   4 years ago

:D you guys are so nice!! Earth certainly has nice people!

leahg2   4 years ago


mariar   4 years ago

Go Katie go!!!!! That was an AWSOME article! You write very good. You will totally become a professional writer. You should also know that I too LOVE cats.

garden girl   4 years ago

So do I!

katieb   4 years ago

:D i am totes in favor of cats!!!!!!!!!!! :D

Clara Roberts   4 years ago

Nice writing Katie! I have a dog named Daisy..she is a colored coat..but i love just the same!

katieb   4 years ago

I love kats

Handel (not verified)   4 years ago

I am so very proud of you! You are beautiful inside and out!! I am so glad to have had you in class last year!!

katieb   4 years ago

Mrs. Handel is a rockin good teacher!!!!

bryceb2   4 years ago

i love animals i have a dog named JACK. becuse he is JACKed up!

katieb   4 years ago

Awwwwwww. Thats not a very good name, well no i like his name, i dont like why he is called JACK.

bryceb2   4 years ago

Nice article Katie she is also in my class. she loves colors and cats. she is crazy about those two things.

katieb   4 years ago

I LOVE cats and colors and God

breannav   4 years ago

This is so true. i would do anything for my dog and she would do anything for me. In the morning she wakes me up and loves me. She is always happy to see me. Dogs are so awesome

katieb   4 years ago


stephenl   4 years ago

Way to go Katie! (Katie is in My Class) Hearing your article both times really made an impact on me

eliseg   4 years ago

Great job Katie. Katie is in my class

jim   4 years ago


Teda (not verified)   4 years ago

katie did a great job on it , don't you agree. By the way she is in my class.

christopherv   4 years ago

good job katie

katiep   4 years ago

Hi Katie! it's the other Katie mrs. S class I love your article it is very interesting i love how animals can help and I totally understand in the soldiers section how the soldier was woken up from his dog when he was having a nightmare that actually happened to me after a flood and fire had happened at my house when I was about 7 or 8 I was having a bad dream where I was trapped in a flood and a fire and I was kicking but I woke and my cat pearl was sitting on my lap purring trying to calm me down. That is one of the connections I have with your article it is so interesting I want to know so much more.

landong2   4 years ago


angelinet   4 years ago

i think animal therapy is so worth it one time a therapist came to our school

colleenl   4 years ago

i really liked this article great job Katie

kayleew   4 years ago

i love this article katie!

rileym   4 years ago

My favorite part was animal's and autism!!

jacobv   4 years ago

i totaly agree riley

nickh3   4 years ago

good job katie it is a very good article.

colea   4 years ago

Wow Katie you did a great job!!!!!!! Thats why i have a one of my friends and i think you will grow up to be a professional writer. I think animal therapy is a great idea.GREAT JOB KATIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

rileym   4 years ago

Katie, you are such a good writer!! You will definitely be a REALLY good writer when you grow up!! I definitely believe in animal therapy!! I think animal therapy is something that a lot of people want and need!! Katie you are such a good friend!! Good job and congratulations!!!:)

riyac   4 years ago

That is so cool katie!!! I love dogs so much. RiyaC

adella   4 years ago

Iv'e always told my dad we need a dog

katieb   4 years ago

I think you should get a cat, too! (incase you havent noticed, i like cats!) In all of my research, i found that people with pets save a million dollars on medical care. ( we wouldnt have emergency rooms if we didnt have brothers! :) ) But, sometimes, a pet can be a great deal of time and responsibility. Before you can get a pet, you might need to prove that you have what it takes! and make sure that you will have time for your pet. Best wishes!

leahg2   4 years ago

I know Katie! She's my friend! Good job Katie!

katieb   4 years ago

Thanks, Leah! Good Job on Honor Choir! Someday, you will be THE BEST SINGER EVER! lalala. You are doing a great job in Mulan! Everyone: Leah got the role of an ancestor in Mulan. That is awesome!

sandefer5   4 years ago

Great job!! I'm a firm believer in animal therapy!

jessical   4 years ago

Isn't this girl a great writer?!?! I know one day she will be the greatest writer on Earth!!! Better than me and everyone!!! I know this becuase she is my greatest friend, Katie!!!!! I know her!!!!! : )

katieb   4 years ago

Jessica, my mom just came in here and read YOUR COMMENT and said that you must be a really good writer! Seriously, A-N-Y-B-O-D-Y that has read your writing pieces knows that someday, YOU WILL GROW UP TO BE THE BEST WRITER THAT THE WHOLE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN! (sorry Shakesphere) I can picture you now... taking world tours, signing autographs! PLEASE... for the sake of the people... send in your story now... to help end world boredome.

katieb   4 years ago

:) Jessica, We all know that you are a better writer than me! That is why you should totes send your article to the youngzine editor! Keep up the good work!
Oh and note to editor: this girl is totes good at writing! she even wrote a story that was 32 pages long! (and i never lost interest!) Tweet

katieb   4 years ago

GREAT JOB! i cant wait to see your article published! You rock, girl friend!

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