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A Rover A Day Keeps the Blues Away

Studies have shown that the mere presence of a pet has therapeutic values ranging from lowering heart rates and blood pressure to relieving stress. And people with pets report feeling less loneliness and depression too.

Well, shelters have just what the doctor ordered. Lots of tail-wagging "prescriptions" available in a variety of sizes and colors that will make you feel as good as new. But be forewarned, you must take all the unconditional love and attention they provide for their entire lifetime in order for this "prescription" to be effective.

Canít own a pet? Many shelters use pet therapy programs to reach people in places where animals are not traditionally in residence.

In pet therapy programs, volunteers take animals to nursing homes, retirement communities, or even childrenís hospitals for special visits. Cuddling an animal can offer comfort, prompt people who havenít spoken in a long time to retell stories of their own beloved pets, and even diminish fear in a child who may be facing difficult medical treatment. During these special visits, animals get a chance to do what they do best--give unconditional love and attention.

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Last modified: June 20, 2017