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 volunteer 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.