Pet Therapy – Animal-Assisted Activities (AAA)

In partnership with Mid-South Therapy Dogs, Fairhaven provides Pet Therapy once a week through Animal-Assisted Activities (AAA), which is the use of animals in recreational settings and both the Residential and Outpatient facilities. AAA is used in alignment with the idea that pets’ non-judgmental affection can bring a sense of calmness and assurance, which can reduce anxiety and stress, stimulate social interaction and conversation, provide opportunities for nurturing and play, and provides respite from the day-to-day activities and intensive therapeutic environment in the facilities. Once a week, Fairhaven receives a visit from a team with Mid-South Therapy Dogs, and clients are given the opportunity to take a break from daily activities to sit with a trained therapy dog and handler and enjoy the company and benefits a dog can provide.

What Is Pet Therapy?

Pet therapy is a guided interaction between a client and a trained therapy dog. Pet therapy benefits clients in many ways and helps their recovery process. Clients with a range of diagnoses benefit from their interaction with therapy dogs.

Pet Therapy Benefits Include:

• Reduced depression
• Decreased feelings of isolation and alienation
• Decreased anxiety
• Enhanced communication
• Increased socialization and sense of community
• Motivation for a faster recovery

What Can I Expect?

Fairhaven’s clients will interact with pets through hands on activities. The sessions focus on learning non-verbal communication, assertiveness, and creative thinking to facilitate a positive attitude.

How often do I get to work with pets?

Fairhaven’s partnership with Mid South Therapy Dogs allows Fairhaven clients to receive pet therapy once per week at our various locations. The therapy dogs and their handlers come to our clients to visit on site at Fairhaven.

Is Pet Therapy Safe?

Yes. Fairhaven has partnered with a professional organization, Mid South Therapy Dogs, to provide professional animal-assisted therapy. The animals are evaluated and trained by certified Evaluators and Instructors at Mid South Therapy Dogs to provide these therapy services.