Friday, September 9, 2005
Protecting Your Pet: Pet Therapy
Whether it's a dog, a cat, or a bird, we all know taking care of our pets requires plenty of time and TLC. But in tonight's final Protecting Your Pet, we go to a medical center where your own animal can help you heal.
WSVN -- Animals not only enrich our lives - they have special healing power. The medical community embraces that fact. Pet therapy is now standard treatment at hospitals across the country. There is nothing new about pet therapy. The benefits are very well documented. What is new is that more health facilites are letting their patients bring their own pets in for a visit. Actress Elizabeth Taylor got regular visits from 'sugar' while recovering from brain tumor surgery.
Diana: "Let's go see Aunt Elle, c'mon."
At St. Catherine's Rehab Center and Villa Maria Nursing Home in North Miami patients can do the same.
Patient Elaine Fruchtman: "It's such a wonderful way to keep that bond, with your animals."
It's helping Elaine recover from hip surgery.
Elaine Fruchtman: "It takes the edge off my worries about what's happening with my foot and my hip, the boredom of laying in my bed."
Elaine Fruchtman (to dog): "Where we going, where are you taking me?"
Activity speeds the healing process.
Elaine Fruchtman: "It's like having your children come and visit. and my children are far away so I would miss having Kat here."
Director of Nursing Joi McMillon: "The patients we can't reach, the pets can reach them. It brings a joy to their life in an otherwise depressing situation."
Right now there is a shortage of therapy animals - if you have a pet with a gentle nature consider volunteering. The Humane Society has a personality test to see if they can do it.
Ellyn Robinson, Animal Assisted Therapy: "It helps if the dog has some obedience training that the dog has to be under the owner's control. It helps if they can do certain tricks or behaviors on command."
The rewards are tremendous for pets and people.
Patient: "You're so cute, cute as a button."
Nice to have a hand to hold when you're not well.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
St. Catherine's Rehab Hospital and Villa Maria Nursing Center
1050 NE 125TH ST NORTH
MIAMI, FL 33161