Animal-Assisted Therapy


Almost 13,000 children develop cancer every year and around 40,000 are treated. It’s a scary time for the kids and their families, and anything that can help make it less scary is a good thing. Can dogs do that?

Those of us who love dogs already know how much they make our lives better, especially by offering absolute love and comfort when we need it most. This healing human-dog bond is the basis for the ever-growing use of therapy dogs in all kinds of settings, including nursing homes, retirement homes and schools, as well as in disaster relief teams.

Therapy dogs have also become common in hospitals, but access varies by facility. Dogs in hospitals have general concerns about human safety, including increased risk of infection, allergies, phobias, and aversions. While there is abundance of positive, anecdotal evidence of the benefits of animal assisted therapy (AAT) in all of these situations, there is little solid evidence to support it. To overcome the remaining barriers to AAT as part of their treatment programs, hospital staff and risk managers need evidence.

Join the American Humane Association (AHA). With funding from Zoetis, a global animal health company, and the Pfizer Foundation, a not-for-profit subsidiary of the international pharmaceutical giant, AHA is in the final stages of a rigorous three-year, peer-reviewed, controlled study, “Canines and Childhood Cancer: Studying the Effects of.” Therapy dogs on childhood cancer patients and their families ”, or CCC for short.

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