Animal Assisted Therapy

Animal-assisted therapy with man’s best friend, the dog, is proven to help treat people with mental disabilities, illness, and addiction. Dogs are intelligent, friendly, and trainable. Just being in the company of a dog causes the brain to increase serotonin, endorphins, and oxytocin. These chemicals are responsible for making people happy.

Dogs help people relax, and most importantly, they help individuals open up about past trauma and abuse. Animal-assisted communication help patients share freely and are proven to increase the efficiency of counseling sessions. Studies have shown that clinicians will gain more insight into patients and their struggles when animals are introduced to the therapeutic environment. People that are exposed to therapy dogs experience social and health benefits. When a person cares for and interacts with an animal, they feel purpose and responsibility.

Having animal interactions in treatment facilities lift the mood of patients and staff members. Dogs can spark pleasurable memories of childhood and life experiences. They hold no judgment and offer unconditional love. A dog will gladly display affection and adoration to anyone despite their past or any problems with addiction.

Animal visits give patients hope and something to look forward to. They reduce stress, anxiety, and loneliness. Studies show the efficacy of this type of treatment. In one study of 231 people divided into groups of people who worked with a therapy dog versus those who did not, the group that worked with the dogs had a far more favorable opinion of the therapeutic experience with their clinician. This leads to increased success and completion of treatment.

SPCA International’s PAWsitive Recovery program facilitates in treatment pet visits to keep patients encouraged and motivated. We also offer several workshops with shelter animals for people in treatment or sober living an opportunity to get out, exercise, practice mindfulness, and socialize with abused and neglected animals. 

Treatment Workshops

Just Dogs

(Individual or Group)

We provide the dogs (or Kitties), and your therapists decide how you want to spend your time with them.

Guided Treatment

(Individual or Group)

One of our Staff Members will bring dogs for a guided therapy workshop.

Therapy Session

(Individual or Group)

One of our licensed clinicians will conduct this session with staff and patients.