"The State of the Art of Animals as Healers"
Countless non-human therapists are working incognito as household pets.
From 1980 to 2001, the number of dogs and cats in the United States grew
from 98 million to 130 million, and North Americans are found to spend
nearly three times as much money caring for their pets as the federal
government spends on welfare. It is far from uncommon for a person to
forego his or her own medical treatment out of cost
Institutions from schools to prisons to nursing homes have long employed dogs, rabbits, birds, and a variety of other species to help people of all ages and disability. There are currently more than 2,000 canine programs and 650 equine-therapy centers in the US alone, and countless others abroad, as the movement did not originate in the US, but in Central Europe. Not only are a large percentage of such centers and their human therapists trained and certified under national guidelines, but numerous not-for-profit organizations exist to ensure the continued quality, credibility, and viability of the field.
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© 2004 by the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), all rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Shift magazine #3 (June-August 2004), and is republished by permission of the authors and the Institute of Noetic Sciences (www.noetic.org). To contact the authors by email, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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