Animal Assisted Therapy

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) – Animal-assisted therapy is a goal-directed intervention in which an animal that meets specific criteria is an integral part of the treatment process.  These programs are usually directed and delivered by human health or human services professionals with specialized expertise that is within the scope of practice of their profession.  Animal-assisted therapy is designed to improve human physical, social, emotional and cognitive (e.g., thinking and intellectual skills) function.   Animals may be formally included in activities such as physical, occupational or speech therapy.  Therapy programs are provided in a variety of settings and may involve individuals or groups.  In AAT, specific goals and objectives are determined for each Member and their progress is evaluated and documented.  Animal-assisted activities provide opportunities for motivation, education and recreation to enhance quality of life.