Animal assisted therapy is an effective way to bring comfort and protection to people with mental illness and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)- victims of childhood abuse, rape, a horrific accident, soldiers back from war. etc. Doctors and scientists, such as Dennis Thompson, recommend using animals as a source to enhance the well being of a person. Animal Assisted Therapy, or AAT as referred to in recent studies, is a type of therapy involving actions between people and trained animals as a form of treatment. This treatment consists of the relationship that people establish with animals and how animals strengthen an individual's life, either emotionally, mentally, socially, physically, and other ideas to improve one self. .
Today, dogs aren't the only animal trained to work in assisted therapy; cats, horses and dolphins are all intelligent enough to interact with people and make a positive impact on someone in need. AAT helps people interact physically with an animal, participating in exercising activities like swimming and horseback riding jumping lessons. Physical activities are effective for all kinds of people, especially those who have mental disorders like Autism, OCD, Down syndrome, etc., because people with mental illnesses often have trouble either to communicate or interact with other people, and animals help them improve their skills. The relationship between humans and animals is strong and during civilization the bond is becoming more powerful. Although, pets can provide that certain companionship and affection, not every pet suits every person, which can cause stress and anxiety to that particular patient. However, the American Humane Association has been dealing with the field of study and has been practicing AAT ever since discovered.
Animals are being used in many places and in different circumstances. According to Dennis Thompson's article "The New Face of Pet Therapy", animals are now involved in human therapy to assist them from mental illnesses and health.