Serving DuPage County in Illinois, Elmhurst Animal Care Center provides pet wellness care options via a staff experienced in boarding, veterinary care, and surgical procedures. Elmhurst Animal Care Center also supports the Hinsdale Humane Society, which offers multiple pet therapy programs.
Studies show that pet therapy programs can deliver a number of significant health benefits on a physical, mental, and emotional level. Considered a treatment without side effects, pet therapy can reduce pain and anxiety, lower blood pressure, and release oxytocin, which are endorphins that provide a calming effect. Animals within these programs can help increase fine motor skills in humans and provide unconditional acceptance to individuals in need of mental stimulation, socialization, and nurturing. Additionally, therapy animals offer acceptance without judgment and promote educational growth by contributing to the development of a nonthreatening learning environment.
Hinsdale Humane Society offers three primary pet therapy programs: Pet-a-Pet, Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.), and Canine Assisted Rehabilitation (CARe). Pet-a-Pet, the first of its therapy programs, sends trained pets and their handlers to a variety of adult care centers, such as retirement and nursing homes, assisted living campuses, and adult daycares. Implemented in 2006, R.E.A.D. partners with animals and handlers registered with Pet Partners and the Delta Society of Therapy Dogs to help children improve their literary skills by reading to animals. CARe, the society’s most recent program, works exclusively with dogs and arranges for Delta/Pet Partner-certified canines to visit patients of the Adventist Paulson Pediatric Rehabilitation Center.
For more information on Hinsdale Humane Society’s pet therapy programs, visit its website at hinsdalehumanesociety.org/pet-therapy.