New England Pet Partners, Inc. 501c.3 Community Pet Partner #46489

Sharing our pets to enhance well-being and education

Animal Assisted Activities (AAA)

Activities are casual (meet and greet) involving pets visiting people. The same activity can be repeated with many people, unlike a therapy program that is customized to a particular person, intervention or treatment plan.

Example of AAA: A team visits a hospital or care facility. Children may interact with a dog. Although staff is involved, they have not set therapeutic goals for the interactions with the Registered Pet Partner Team. AAA offers therapeutic benefits like stress-relief, motivation and connection. The team is not required to document the visit. They are encouraged to learn by processing after the visit. This benefits the teams, as well as the people they visit, to keep it as safe and stress-free as possible.     

Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT)

Therapy is a goal directed intervention that promotes improvement in physical, social, emotional and/or cognitive function. It is offered by a health/human service provider with expertise in integrating animals as a treatment modality. This individual or team is a specialist in their field of expertise and knowledgeable about animals, interactions and behaviors in specific environments.  

Animal Assisted Therapy can be applied in different settings with different forms of therapy such psychotherapy, occupational and physical therapy, recreational therapy, speech and language therapy in hospitals, prisons, rehabs, mental health clinics, private practice, wellness/assisted living facilities and schools.

Example of AAT: A woman recovering from a brain injury has limited speech, standing and walking tolerance. A health care professional (doctor, physical, occupational or counseling therapist) may utilize the presence of a dog for directed intervention / goals to motivate the client. They may ask the client to reach (within their ability) to touch the dog. To increase the client’s ambulation or speech compensatory skills, the therapist may ask the client to talk to the dog or walk a short distance.

Handlers use a double lead in visits, walking alongside the client. Records are kept on progress. There is a pre-determined commitment/contract to visit regularly with this client or group. There is a fee-for-service. Pet Partners does not provide insurance for AAT.    

Learn more about AAAIP Association of Animal Assisted Intervention Professionals

Learn more about the benefits of AAA & AAT