• Highlights the major types of therapy and types of animals used
• Shows how animal-assisted therapy can benefit specific populations such as the elderly
• Discusses innovative programs such as read-aloud programs where children with reading difficulties learn by reading to a dog
• A list of government regulations about the rights of service dogs in public accommodations
• A glossary of major terms, such as animal-assisted therapy, animal-assisted activities, equine therapy, and many others
• The most comprehensive annotated bibliography yet developed on the subject, including books, journal articles, videos, and websites
"This entry in the Health and Medical Issues Today series covers a topic of growing interest: the use of animals as part of the treatment for individuals with physical, emotional, or psychological illnesses. . . . Recommended for undergraduate libraries and any library where there is an interest in the topic."
"Overall it offers a good overview of the background issues associated with and populations involved with AAT. Illustrated with black-and-white photographs. Recommended."
"Well-sourced and researched, this title is an excellent reference for anyone new to or curious about the topic."
Although the term "pet therapy" was first used in the 1960s, the use of animals in a therapeutic role dates to 1792 when the British Society of Friends used rabbits and other animals to help residents in a mental asylum cope with social and emotional isolation. Today, animal-assisted therapy involves a wide variety of animals, including dogs, cats, monkeys, horses, dolphins, aquarium fish, hamsters, and gerbils.