Humans have always had a special bond with animals, initially as work animals, then as pets, and now more frequently as therapeutic companions. Modern medicine is now discovering the amazing power of animals to detect, treat, and cure a host of diseases and conditions.
Animals may assist specific patient populations (children, the disabled, AIDS patients, etc.), and aid in specific settings (hospitals, prisons, independent practice, etc.). Contact with animals can help lower blood pressure, release endorphins, and achieve specific treatment or program goals.

More and more people and pets get involved in the field of animal-assisted activities and animal-assisted therapy (AAA/T), were animals help the sick recover more quickly and the aged to live longer and more satisfying lives. Specially trained animals are now also helping stroke victims, the handicapped, and others to regain or build lost faculties. Increasingly, animals assist in new fields  of nonphysical/medical therapies, helping the stressed and angry relax and the shy be more forthcoming.

We have selected this usefull manuals for anyone who wishes to join the growing number of volunteers… supplementing conventional medicine with the healing potential of contact with animals.
Therapy Dogs - Volunteering with your Pet
Wanted: Animal Volunteers
by Mary R. Burch
Paperback: 208 p.  Publisher: Howell Book House; Revised edition (2002)
This information-packed guide explains how you and your pet can make a difference in the lives of others. Animals have proven a invaluable aid in achieving specific treatment or program goals with  nursing home residents, AIDS patients, people with emotional or physical handicaps, and even prisoners..
Drawing from personal experience, extensive research, and heartwarming case studies, the author provides practical information from obtaining liability insurance to evaluating clients progress. Animal-assisted activities can involve not just dogs and cats, but also rabbits, guinea pigs, horses, farm animals, and just about any other kind of animal.
Volunteering With Your Pet: How to Get Involved in Animal-Assisted Therapy With Any Kind of Pet
by Mary R. Burch. Hardcover: 224 p. Publisher: Howell Books (1996)
This book discusses all the elements of animal-assisted activities and animal-assisted therapy (AAA/T) so that readers can learn what it takes to get involved and make a difference. Whether it's a bird, a cat, a horse, barnyard animal or traditional dog...whether it's a kindergarten class, a prisoner, a paraplegic or an AIDS patient, there are many ways in which all sorts of pets can help people. The book doesn't just apply to volunteers, but health and human service professionals will also find this book to be an invaluable resource. Particularly helpful are the descriptions of the various client populations and facilities that a volunteer may visit and suggestions for activities for each population and facility. Case studies are provided to illustrate how to apply the recommended activities. Includes information about therapy organizations, requirements for your pet and what to expect from this work. The safety and enjoyment of the animals that participate in AAA/T is also addressed, ensuring that they will benefit from the experience.
Therapy Dogs Today: Their Gifts, Our Obligation
by Kris Butler.
Paperback: 88 p. Publisher: Funpuddle Pub. Associates (2004)
As more and more people adjust to the physical and emotional challenges of today's chaotic world, therapy dogs are proving their worth in diverse settings. The author's workshops integrate the science of human health and education with the magic of hands-on interactions with appropriate dogs to teach health care providers, educators, volunteers, assessors, and dog trainers the most effective and ethical ways to include dogs in settings that enhance human healing, learning and self-awareness.
Therapy Dogs Today: Their Gifts, Our Obligation is an important book for anyone who handles, assesses, or trains visiting therapy dogs and it is essential for professional people who oversee therapy dog programs or include their own dogs in the their workplaces.
Handbook on Animal-Assisted Therapy: Theoretical Foundations and Guidelines for Practice
by Aubrey H. Fine
Hardcover: 481 pages Publisher: Academic Press; 1st edition (February 15, 2000)
Working as a Therapy Dog
by Lorna Stanart
Paperback: 67 pages Publisher: Hispen Books (April, 2003)
Therapy Dogs: Training Your Dog to Help Othersby Kathy Diamond Davis
Paperback: 256 pages Publisher: Dogwise Publishing; 2nd edition (September 1, 2002)
Therapy Pets: The Animal-Human Healing Partnership
by Jacqueline J. Crawford, Karen A. Pomerinke, Donald W. Smith
Paperback: 198 pages Publisher: Prometheus Books (April 1, 2003)
The Healing Power of Pets: Harnessing the Ability of Pets to Make and Keep People Happy and Healthy
by Marty Becker
Hardcover: 270 pages Publisher: Hyperion; 1st edition (February 6, 2002)
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