Welcome to the Pet Therapy Society of Northern Alberta
Pets helping people.
The Pet Therapy Society of Northern Alberta (PeTS) is a registered not-for-profit organization. Our human volunteers and their personal animals provide free pet therapy services to facilities in and around Edmonton.
A therapy animal is not the same as a service dog or an emotional support animal. Service dogs and emotional support animals assist their individual owners/handlers, while a pet therapy animal assists other people, with the assistance of their owner/handler.
Effective March 16, 2020, PeTS has suspended all programming in response to the Government of Canada’s advise to use social distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. The suspension applies to our Volunteer Information Sessions, Prescreen Evaluation events, PEP Weekends, Practicum Visits, and the Paws to Remember pet bereavement support group meetings. We look forward to resuming our programming when safe to do so. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
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The Benefits of Pet Therapy
Since the early 1990s, pet therapy has grown in popularity due to the many benefits experienced by recipients, such as:
- Decrease in stress hormones, including cortisol, adrenaline, and aldosterone.
- Increase in health & social inducing hormones, including oxytocin, dopamine, and endorphins.
- Reduction in depression.
- Development of social skills.
- Demonstration of a healthy relationship between the animal and handler.
Staff at facilities that receive pet therapy visits note:
- Increased participation in group events during and after a pet therapy visit.
- Behavioral improvements in children.
- Therapy animals are often able to draw positive responses from patients that have been withdrawn or non-verbal.
- Pet therapy allows patients to experience positive physical contact through the interactions with a therapy animal.