Animal Assisted Activities (AAA) is the use of animals in a recreation or visitation setting to help people with specific needs. Providing many opportunities for people of all ages to gain motivation, education and / or recreational enhancement of the quality of our human lives. Animal Assisted Activities are delivered in a range of different environments by specifically trained professionals, paraprofessionals and / or volunteers in association with the animals that meet the criteria.
Many different animals can be used for these sessions including, dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and sometimes reptiles. Each animal is selected carefully for the activity depending on the criteria of the clients needs. The most commonly used animals are dogs and horses; however, I plan on using a range of different rabbits, guinea pigs and potentially reptiles.
The animals maybe selected to make regular visits to hospitals and long-term care facilities. This allows people to engage in animal themed exercises and activities helping with the physical rehab or occupational therapy that the person requires. Other animals may visit prisons, libraries and schools.
The animals used in Animal Assisted Activities have lots of training to be able to carry out the tasks that they are required to do but let us not forget that a family pet also has the same capabilities. A family pet is friendly, non-threating common denominator in most homes. Pets are non-judgemental creatures that provide unconditional love, that can bring a sense of serenity, self confidence and happiness that can reduce stress and anxiety.
As a sufferer of stress, depression and anxiety I have come to realise the benefit that these animals can offer, not just to myself but to others of all ages. This is the reason that I made the decision to train in Animal Assisted Therapy and start my own Animal Assisted Activities Programme.
If you’d like any information on sessions that we run please visit The White Rabbit Small Animal Hotel here.