WHAT IS ANIMAL-ASSISTED THERAPY (Pet Therapy)?
This form of therapeutic modality is the introduction of an animal into
the immediate environment of an individual or group, as a medium for interaction
for the purpose of causing physical, psychosocial, or emotional responses.
Other names of the same format are animal-facilitated therapy, pet-facilitated
therapy, pet-assisted therapy, or companion-animal-assisted therapy.
Research has shown that many humans have a natural love for animals. Some
have pets as companion animals for emotional support, stress relief, companionship
when alone, entertainment, sport, or sociability. If properly utilized,
this bonding furnishes a format for responsive interactions not otherwise
possible by other human stimuli.
PAT Therapy Dogs:
- ARE NOT Service or Assistance Dogs. PAT Therapy Dogs are privately
owned “pets’ who have been registered and certified through
a selection and training program, which in turn allows them and their
handlers, as a “therapy team,” to provide a special “service”
to populations in many different types of facilities in the community.
In their “working” capacity they provide a type of “therapy”
to those with whom they work;
- ONLY have access to authorized PAT facilities;
- DO NOT have free access to public buildings or public transit/transportation;
- ARE NOT trained to be placed with a person who has a physical disability,
psychological disorder, or medical diagnosis to assist them in any manner;
- DO NOT have the same legal rights as Assistance or Service Dogs since
they perform no tasks, nor provide support which is directly related
to a PAT owner/handler’s disability or condition;
- ARE NOT recognized by the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) as
“service or assistance” animals. To identify a PAT Therapy
Dog as a Service Dog is disrespectful of the rights of persons having
an impairment or disability that substantially limits them in one or
more of their major life activities which would require the use of a
certified service/assistance animal. Such action made by a PAT member/representative
may affect the continuance of the PAT Therapy Dog registration/and or
For further information on Service/Assistance Dogs, identification and
access, contact www.ada.gov.
Paws Across Texas, Inc. (PAT) reserves the right to restrict and approve
the use and distribution of all information and documentation, in any
form, directly related to PAT, its policies and procedures.
The training techniques and programming provided by PAT remain the property
of the PAT organization and duplication without permission is prohibited.
Materials are protected by Copyright Law (Title 17 U. S. Code).
Our thanks to Serge Lussier for
assistance in creation of this page.