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.
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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- Therapy animals are often able to draw positive responses from patients that have been withdrawn or non-verbal.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.