Animals make a huge impact on people’s everyday lives, even though we may not realize it. We are always surrounded by animals wherever we are, even from around the early 1920’s animals have been used to help people with whatever condition they were in and through the rough times. As a result, there are big difference between service animals and therapy animals. People must realize that if they wish to get a therapy animal or a service animal for a loved one then understand the responsibilities that come with it; what they can and can’t do.
Therapy animals serve to give people emotional support, to make them feel needed, and to brighten their spirits. The use of therapy animals is expanding, and so is the different species people are using. Now, miniature horses, dogs, cats, rabbits and llamas are being used to bring happiness and help lift the attitudes of sick or needy people located in hospitals, cancer clinics and other various places.
It is believed, “They help with pain management and fear, and they’re a diversion.”(Cook 3).
Therapy animals are used to help cheer people up when they are down. People say that they are a constant reminder to live their life to the fullest every day because we never know what the next one holds; that is one of the lessons those animals teach us. Dr. Marguerite E. O’Haire, assistant professor of human-animal interaction at Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, stated: “The National Institutes of Health started funding research on human-animal interaction in 2008…has really changed the landscape in this field.
¨ (4). Studies show in medical records that people seem to calm down and feel less anxious (Kingson).
Service animals are also used to assist people with disabilities. They do the things that their owner are incapable of doing. It takes a very special dog to become a service dog; there’s a lot of work and training to it. The animals are put through many different tests and courses in cities to be certified. It also takes a lot of time and effort to become a service animal. Making it through the city includes navigating obstacles and potential hazards, like work zones, distracted people, potholes, and crazy traffic. In the city, a pedestrian may encounter a horse and buggy pass by, and the service animal must stay calm because animals may react around other animals. That takes a lot of self control and training (Kilgannon). To become a service dog, dogs undergo four months of training at the Seeing Eye, and learning to guide around obstacles, obey commands, and street-crossing skills, including how to watch for traffic and keep their handlers safe from vehicles that might be turning or running lights. It is reported, “Officials with the Seeing Eye said they pair roughly 260 dogs each year with blind people living in the United States and Canada. Most live in some urban environment largely because of public transportation, walkability and other services and a handful live in New York City.” (Kilgannon)
There are both positive and negative impacts of therapy and service animals. Everyone loves animals and think they are amazing for helping people. Doctors see the benefits of animal-human relationships in their patients. Animals have an effect on people that no one else has, they somehow relieve tension/stress on a person’s body and make them so happy. Some people do not understand why others who need their animals cannot have their animals with them at all times, even a service animal or therapy animal.
One of the issues that deters the benefits of animals is that because of other people’s health, animals are not allowed in all places. Some people are allergic to fur and it can cause an allergic reaction, which risks their throats closing up, hives, and more. With therapy animals the space is cleared, meaning they have checked in with everyone, so we know that there are people with no allergies. But, when we are out doing our daily errands, you never know if someone is allergic to the animal. People need to think of all the precautions of animals out and about. One woman stated, “I am allergic to dogs and suffer from prolonged asthma attacks as a result. While we appreciate the need for me to tolerate service animals in the public spaces I frequent, it is because these animals do real good for those individuals in need and society as a whole and they are required by law to be admitted. As it is still unclear what good, if any, therapy animals do, it is difficult for me to appreciate why I should risk an asthma attack and my own accompanying personal distress.” (Kelley 2)
Doctors see the benefits of animal-human relationships in their patients. They see that the tension/stress on their body has relieved a bit. Animals have a amazing effect on people animals make people feel, happy, calmer, can ease tense muscles, and can increases the levels of the feel-good chemicals, dopamine and serotonin in your brain. Because people are playing with them, they are in the present; they’re not worried about the future or fretting over the past! Animals and children live in the present.“Those who have connected with and benefited from relationships with animals understand the difference that animals can make in our lives, be it a soldier struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder or a child with autism. I have no objection to the publication of additional science on the subject, but I hope that people aren’t deprived of such companionship in the interim.” (Liss 1)
Everyone deserves to be happy as long as they have a furry friend by their side. Animals impact our daily lives. Our furry friends undergo a lot to be able to help us out, why not take a moment to realize how grateful we are to have these guys. People have medically shown the impact of an animal so why not make an even bigger impact! We could set up animal time at more hospitals and medical centers and just have as much fun as you can with animals, now that would be a dream come true!