…a wagging tail, a lick on the cheek something positive happens when people and pets get together.
National studies have confirmed the therapeutic effects of animals upon humans, especially those who are confined due to age or illness. Human-animal contact encourages out-of-room socialization for the isolated, independent movement for the immobile, memory stimulation for the elderly and a distraction from boredom and pain. All of this is in addition to helping lower heart rates and blood pressures.
“SMILES,” our Pet Therapy Program, began with one dog, one leader and one nursing home. Brandon was surrendered to Fuzzy Friends Rescue in October 2000 by his owner who moved away and was unable to care for him. He did what he could, with what he had, where he was. With the help of a trainer and Kathie Robnett, he was put through his paces and after providing to be sound and reliable, we officially began our program.
To say this endeavor is rewarding is an understatement. To witness the sheer joy on the faces of the residents—many of whom had to give up their pets— is an indescribable experience. We have rescued our program dogs and they in turn are bringing “SMILES” to each and every person they visit.