Pet Therapy

The Magical Bond of Pet Therapy - Animals Helping People ....... 

Smoky, a Yorkshire Terrier, may be known as the first unofficial therapy dog. His human companion, a corporal in the US Army over in the Phillipines during WWII was greatly comforted and inspired by Smoky when he was injured. The doctor realized the moral booster effect Smoky had on the wounded and for 12 years Smoky went with the doctor on rounds. That doctor later created the Mayo clinic.

A golden retriever and his human companion, a chaplan in England also had noticable effects on patients. Visiting US nurse, Elaine Smith was so inspired, she began a formal training of therapy dogs in 1976.

In 1982 TLZ was formed (Tender Loving Zoo). The founder, Nancy Stanley was a volunteer at the LA Zoo. She witnissed the positive effects the animals had on handicapped visitors. She started a program incorporating the help of her miniature poodle, Freeway to help the severely handicapped. Upon further research she discovered animals - wild and domesticated - relieve stress, lower blood presuure, and raise spirits.

Nancy Stanley used her own money, pursuaded pet stores to lend baby animals of all kinds to her cause, recruited volunteers, and purchased a van to bring "animal-assisted therapy" to various institutions. Not just dogs and cats, she developed the acceptance of therapy rabbits, therapy birds and so on.

Pets have a wonderfully healthy affect on humans! Physical, mental, emotional, educational and motivational - the effects humans and animals have on each other is mutual.