Potential Target Groups
Research demonstrates that the therapeutic use of animals may be beneficial to a wide range of individuals. Research findings support the positive benefits of therapeutic animals working with the geriatric population within nursing homes, long-term care and hospital settings (Banks & Banks, 2002). Also within the hospital setting, therapeutic animals have been used within psychiatric and rehabilitation units to help promote goal attainment for individuals with mental health disorders or physical disabilities (Moretti, De Ronchi, Bernabei, Marchetti, Ferrari, Forlani, Negretti, Sacchetti & Atti, 2011). A study also delineates programs within detention facilities where incarcerated individuals are offered the opportunity to participate in the training of therapeutic animals. Training these animals for future animal therapy use has proven to have inherent therapeutic benefits for the inmates (Strimple, 2003). Animals have also been used for social, intellectual and visual impairments within various settings.
There are several versions of the therapeutic use of animals. The first is therapeutic visitation animals, which involves the use of a family pet whose owner wishes to offer animal companionship to th...
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...s, 11, 125-129.
O’Haire, M.E., McKenzie, S.J., McCune, S., and Slaughter, V. (2014). Effects of classroom
animal-assisted activities on social functioning in children with autism spectrum disorder. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 20(3), 162-168.
Pet Partners. (2012). Pet partners therapy animal program. Retrieved from
Powell, J. (2012). Animal therapy for elderly with memory disorders. Human Ageing and
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St. John Ambulance. (2014). Therapy dog services. Retrieved from
Strimple, E. (2003). A history of prison inmate–animal interaction programs. American
Behavioral Scientist, 47(1), 70-78.
Therapeutic Paws of Canada. (2011). About tpoc. Retrieved from http://tpoc.ca/.
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