For Health Professionals

Animal Assisted Therapy Services (AaTs) is a non-profit organization, founded in 2009, and dedicated to providing equine and canine therapeutic interventions for adults and children with physical, cognitive, and psychosocial disabilities.

        

Sessions with our dogs are held at our Canine Therapy/Training Center, Milford or on site in residential treatment centers, assisted living facilities, schools, and corporate locations.

 

AaTs provides educational seminars for universities, providers, and educators. The seminars range from a simple 2 hour introduction to animal assisted therapy to a weekend seminar focusing one day on equine interventions and the other day on canine interventions.

 

Seminars are conducted by AaTs staff and always provide hands-on experience with the horses or dogs to help clinicians/educators directly experience and analyze sensations that a client may feel during a session.

 

Synopsis of Equine Therapy:

           

Equine therapy can be mounted or un-mounted. It promotes strength, flexibility, communication skills, leadership qualities, caregiving, positive body language and encourages overall physical fitness and lifelong wellness.

 

The intervention can be in a group or individual setting. As a group, participants in a mounted session work on basic riding skills and learn to independently manage their horse (walk/trot, stop/start, directional changes). Participants are supported by a volunteer team known as a horse leader and one-two side walkers. There is also ample opportunity for social interaction between the participant and team.

 

In the private setting, the instructor/therapist can work on specific, individual treatment goals. The therapist is often part of a treatment team and records weekly progress seeking to attain specific benchmarks.

Un-mounted sessions are available for participants who cannot, or do not wish, to ride. Time is spent caring for the horse and can include: grooming, bathing, feeding, grazing, etc. Un-mounted sessions may also include teaching the horse ground exercises, lungeing, or leading through an obstacle course.

Registration form is at the bottom of the page.

Synopsis of Canine Therapy:

           

Canine therapy can be in a group or individual format. Basic handling and training skills are taught to the participant to improve communication skills, body language, leadership qualities, and emotional bonding with their dog.

           

Once basic handling skills are acquired the dogs are used in a myriad of other motivational ways such as:

  • Off leash nature hikes

  • On leash local trails and beach walks

  • Therapy visits to assisted living/long term care facilities

  • Educational visits to pet supply stores

  • Grooming/bathing experience

  • Agility

  • Rally Obedience

 

Some clients enjoy quiet, cuddling time with the dog while exploring art, puzzles, playing board games, or listening to music.

Healthy eating and cooking is explored for both the dogs and humans in our kitchen.

 

The AaTs therapist is often part of the client's treatment team and keeps weekly progress notes with specific benchmarks.

Registration form is at the bottom of the page.

Additional AaTs Services:

AaTs assists owners in training their dog to be a well-mannered family member.

AaTs also trains professionals or volunteers who are preparing their dogs to become an AaTs Credentialed Dog Therapy Team.

AaTs trains emotional support dogs and service dogs for individual clients.