Secondhand Hope is Secondhand Hounds’ newest program. This program offers residents of assisted living and other facilities companion animal visits. Our goal is to provide both humans and animals with comfort, socialization and companionship. The dogs and cats affiliated with Secondhand Hope will come from our foster program, our hospice program, and our adopted alumni. Each animal and handler receives training with Secondhand Hounds staff in order to make the experience both enjoyable and safe.
Here are some pictures from our first few visits at Heritage of Edina! Lloyd, the Basset Hound, and Boone the cat.
Numerous and varied scientific studies have proven that interaction with companion animals offers a wide range of benefits, both mental and physical. Some of those benefits include-
- lowers blood pressure
- improves cardiovascular health
- releases endorphins (oxytocin) that have a calming effect
- diminishes overall physical pain
- the act of petting produces an automatic relaxation response, reducing the amount of medication some folks need
- lifts spirits and lessens depression
- decreases feelings of isolation and alienation
- encourages communication
- provides comfort
- increases socialization
- reduces boredom
- lowers anxiety
- reduces loneliness
All animals will be evaluated based on the certain criteria, including but not limited to-
- Friendly demeanor
- Willingness and enjoyment of petting and attention
- Basic Obedience
- Steady temperament
- Ability to remain calm around groups of people and some medical equipment
- Lack of jumping or “mouthiness”
Additionally, we will also be evaluating the human volunteers on their interpersonal skills, friendly and warm personality, ability to converse with a wide range of people and willingness to help.
Our goal is for the program to grow to include many therapy teams, so that we can provide a large array of people with the enjoyment and comfort of companion animal visits.
Questions about this program can be directed to Katie Jo at Hope@secondhandhounds.org