Helping Animals Heal People’ isn’t just a clever tagline. It’s a real thing.

Animals and humans have existed in therapeutic relationships with each other for more than 12,000 years. That’s a fact! Researching animal effects on human health and well-being began during the late 1970s and more needs to be done. Therefore, 1 FUR 1 Foundation developed a researched project in 2019 which measures the impact our animal assisted activity (AAA) group programs were having on patients. Our data confirms what we already suspected: 70% of children -AND- seniors with disabilities benefited from animal assisted intervention, as part of their alternative health care plan.

Make Your Impact Count

1 FUR 1 Foundation aspires to be on the forefront of making a change in this country and that includes changing state policy and federal laws to allow access to animal assisted interventions and services to people in need. This is only possible when our community starts reporting impact data so we’ve created our first-ever Animal Assisted Group Survey – it’s national, voluntary and anonymous. Our purpose if to document & substantiate the positive health impact specially certified therapy animals have on people in group setting seeking alternative healthcare.

Inviting 1 FUR 1 partners, handlers, educators and facility staff who monitors or participate in animal assisted activity (AAA) group sessions.

Facts About Animals

Types of Animal Assisted Interventions (AAI)

Animal Assisted Activity (AAA) programs utilize pets as therapy to help people with a source of motivation and happiness. The elderly, children and many others benefit immensely from the companionship and opportunity for interaction with animals ranging from cats and dogs to rabbits and llamas. Click here to learn the difference between animal assisted therapy (AAT) vs. animal assisted activities (AAA).  Both of these animal assisted interactions (AAI):

  • Promotes the release of serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin- all hormones that can play a part in elevating moods
  • Help the elderly abate feelings of loneliness
  • Increases mental stimulation
  • Lowers anxiety and blood pressure with first responders
  • Enhances socialization
  • Greater use of language for people with autism
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Reduces the amount of medications some people need

Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is a goal oriented, planned, structured and documented therapeutic intervention directed by a licensed health and human service providers. AAT sessions can be done in variety of settings by a variety of animals but they must be supervised by a licensed medical professional.  The most popular are; Equine Therapy – for people with mental and physical health disabilities and Canine Therapy – for people with emotional and behavioral problems. AAT programs are designed to promote improvement in human physical, social, emotional, or cognitive functions. Center around highly trained and certified therapy dogs and horses that help:

  • People receiving cancer treatment
  • Children with special needs and ADD/ADHD
  • Patients recovering from surgery
  • Children with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • Elderly in long-term care facilities and hospice

1fur1 resoucesBelieve in the Possibilities

Assistance dogs not only provide a specific service to their handlers, but also greatly enhance the quality of their lives with a new sense of freedom and independence, as stated by Assistance Dog International.  Although Guide Dogs for the blind have been trained formally for over seventy years, training dogs for people with physical and mental health disabilities is a much more recent concept.  These highly trained animals allow them to better function in society and can have many different purposes, such as:

  • They lovingly guide the blind
  • Protect epileptics during seizures
  • Alert diabetics of low/high blood sugar levels
  • Detect and alert panic attacks for PTSD sufferers
  • Remind elderly owners to take their medication.

animal assisted activities facts about animalsLearn substantiated facts

We carefully curate medical studies that are part of the The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, which consists of over 6,000 member organizations nationwide.  The mission of the NLM is to advance the progress of medicine and improve the public health by: 1) providing all U.S. health professionals equal access to biomedical information and, 2) improving the public’s access to information, enabling them to make informed decisions about their health and healthcare.

Animal assisted therapy (AAT) sessions can be done in variety of settings by a variety of animals but they must be supervised by a licensed medical professional.  The most popular AAT types are:

Resources for Service Dogs:

Service, hearing and guide dogs truly are their owners’ other half. Whether you need a service animal, an emotional support animal, or a therapy animal, these creatures are definitely making life better for humans. And understanding the legal differences can help you avoid tricky situations when you try to board a plane, enter a restaurant, or rent an apartment. To see chart, click here. There are three main types of service dogs: