"Paws & Hearts"















Community programs that bring animals and people together for companionship and therapy began in the 1970s, and are growing rapidly. The introduction of animals into the patients' environment is a way of humanizing health care. This is becoming increasing important because the more that high technology is introduced into society, the greater the need for "high touch." Naisbitt, 1982.




Among seniors, pet therapy:
  • Diminishes emotional pain
  • Diminishes physical pain
  • Reduces boredom
  • Reduces anxiety, and
  • Makes people happy


"Saffron" and her Mom, Missy visiting the Rehabilitation Department at Desert Regional Medical Center


Seniors who own dogs go to the doctor less often than those who don't. In a study of 100 Medicare patients, even the most highly stressed dog owners had a 21 percent lower level of physician contact than non-owners.

Medication costs dropped from an average of $3.80 per patient per day to $1.18 per patient per day when nursing homes allowed for pets to be introduced into patient's environments. Nursing homes in New York, Missouri and Texas were all used in the study.





Among children who are in homeless shelters or institutionalized, pet therapy teaches:

  • Gentleness
  • Caring
  • Responsibility
  • How to interact safely with a pet, and most importantly,
  • Allows them to love a pet




"Cisco" and two of the children from Martha's Village and Kitchen playing on the grass.

Children exposed to educational programs on the humane treatment of animals display enhanced empathy for humans compared with children not exposed to such programs.




"Since the hospital began a canine program early last year, patients have credited the dogs with improving their moods and motivating them to recover faster. Dogs give patients something to take their minds off the enormity of their problems." Ladies Home Journal, 12/01.

"With the kids who are medically fragile, they're often tense. But sometimes when they pet dogs, their hands and indeed, entire bodies relax, open up, and their breathing slows down. Overall, they become more physically and emotionally relaxed." Dogs in Canada Magazine, 2/02.

"Researchers found even one 30-minute long session of animal assisted therapy reduced loneliness to a statistically significant degree." Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, 7/02.

"Community programs that bring animals and people together for companionship and therapy began in the 1970s, and are growing rapidly. The introduction of animals into the patients environment is a way of humanizing health care. This is becoming increasing important because the more that high technology is introduced into society, the greater the need for "high touch." Naisbitt, 1982.




"Fraser" visiting the residents at Manor Care.  "Fraser" and his Dad Bill have been visiting Manor Care for 5 years now and residents and staff truly love this dog!

Pets provide internal chemical therapeutics for people.

Tests show that within minutes of petting a dog, the humans and dogs alike experience massive release of such beneficial hormones as prolactin, oxytocin and phenylethylamine.


"Paws & Hearts" pet therapy reduces emotional, physical pain, boredom, anxiety, makes seniors happy, teaches kids in shelters, institutions, gentleness, responsibility, safe pet contact & allows kids to love pets.



























































Highlighting our Incredible Volunteer Teams

In this issue we are going to highlight an incredible Canine Volunteer who passed away earlier this year.  “Annie” had been a volunteer for eight years visiting the residents at Atria at Palm Desert and being part of the Paws to Read Library reading program at The Thousand Palms Library.  Her mother Ellen shared her story with me for our Memorial Wall and here it is…………….

I am okay to write about my Annie because it really helps, but not sure where to start.  So, here goes.  My husband and I got her as an 8 week-old puppy in early 1997. We couldn’t do enough to keep her entertained.  She was a great bundle of puppy energy that wouldn’t quit.  She was of course very smart and learned her commands and good manners quickly.  When we brought in another puppy, Annie was already two, and she would always let us know if Daisy was chewing or doing something she shouldn’t be by licking me profusely.





When I heard about Animal Assisted Therapy and the “Paws & Heartsorganization, I jumped at the chance. We temperament tested with Richard and she of course passedimmediately.  We were assigned to The Atria Palm Desert Senior Living Community and continued visits there for about 8 years.  Annie loved every minute of our weekly
visits.  She seemed to feel very at home there.  She would greet, take a treat, do some tricks, but when I was talking one-on-one with a resident, Annie would quietly lay at their feet, (of course this was only after she explored and sniffed the entire room!)  I called her Inspector Annie, always on the job!  My other nick names for her were Annabelle, Annie Bananie, The Regal Beagle and Annie Get Your Gun—this one usually to make the residents understand me when I
introduced her.  A few of them always call her, “Annie Get Your Gun.”

She loved, loved, loved kids.  She did very well when we started doing the library visits (pictured above.)  She was happiest when surrounded by a bunch of children, all petting her, cooing to her and making her the center of attention.  Annie was very patient when the children read their books to her, all the while petting her, trying to keep her entertained.

Halloween was Annie’s favorite holiday.  She always answered the door with me, and stepped out to be with the kids with a big ‘ol smile on her face!  Sometimes she would try to leave with them, unnoticed by Mom!

I am so glad we both got to know you and be a part of your vision!

Ellen



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"Paws & Hearts"
74-854 Velie Way, Suite 7, Palm Desert, CA 92260
Phone
(760) 836-1406 Fax (760) 836-1426