Pet Therapy is a unique program that brings enormous therapeutic benefits to people in aged care, paediatrics, health services (including mental health) and disability services.
The Lort Smith Animal Hospital is an animal welfare organisation. Named the largest not-for-profit animal hospital in Australia, they provide necessary care to abandoned and sick animals every day.
Having a strong focus on social justice and welfare, Lort Smith Animal Hospital made a promise to care for the animals of owners with limited means, a promise that is entrenched into their organisation.
Lort Smith Animal Hospital powerfully commits to looking after both, animals and their owners in their vision; aiming for animals to be respected and the bond between human and animal, valued.
With more than 500 volunteers, Lort Smith Animal Hospital prides itself on the developments they make alongside their volunteers.
A service provided free of charge and a reflection of Lort Smith Animal Hospital’s mission is their, Pet Therapy Program.
The program has immense therapeutic benefits to people in aged care, health and disability services. Lort Smith strives to promote the benefits that exist between the human-animal bond, beyond companionship.
They believe that pets have therapeutic gains, healing and easing minds, with emotional, psychological, spiritual and most importantly physical advantages.
Running for 22 years, the program accomplishes improving well being of patients and residents through positive interactions with assessed and approved dogs.
“Animals seem to bridge gaps and transcend boundaries; some of the residents in facilities we visit never interact with people, never speak and rarely smile but that all changes when the dogs are around,” says Sarah.
Dogs are taken to visit many facilities throughout Melbourne, with the aid of volunteers. Their visitation ranges from aged care facilities to hospitals, hostels to rehabilitation centres. With over 150 Pet Therapy Volunteers, this service is ever growing and a special asset to Lort Smith Animal Hospital.