Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT)
Animal-Assisted Therapy is a program that is 42 years strong here at Tree House. We have firmly believed in the strength of the human-animal bond, and research over the years actually supports this notion as well. Not only have therapy animals grown in popularity over the past few decades, but they have gained wide acceptance throughout other fields of psychology too.
When interacting with a therapy cat, various studies from around the world have revealed the myriad of physical and mental changes that occur within patients. When stroking a non-threatening animal patients can experience:
--->Lowered blood pressure & heart rate
--->Lowered levels of the stress hormone cortisol, adrenaline, and aldosterone
--->Increased attention spans
--->Increased levels of stress-reducing hormones such as oxytocin, dopamine, and endorphins
At Tree House, our Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) program reaches hundreds of needy people each year. Every week there are Volunteers that take adoptable Tree House cats to visit the elderly in nursing homes, patients in hospitals, and even residents of women's shelters, just to name a few. As the volunteers are educating residents on topics of animal welfare, and fostering organic social interactions with the residents, the AAT cats are also benefiting from these visits! Not only do these cats gain valuable experiences by having their nails trimmed before every visit, and being transported in a car, but the cats have the opportunity to be in novel situations where they may meet people that have little to no understanding of how to appropriately interact with a cat. All in all, it's a win-win situation for the residents, the volunteers, and the cats.
If you are interested in volunteering for the AAT program or work for a facility that would like to have AAT visits, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to our partnership with the 1FUR1 Foundation, Tree House has been able to expand our Animal-Assisted Therapy program to reach more people and visit more facilities. For more information about 1FUR1, please visit www.1fur1.org.