Organizations such as the American Humane Association (AHA) are ordinarily celebrated for their work in rescuing animals, but they do so much more than most people know about. Yes, they use animals to do charitable works, but that just makes their work that much more fulfilling!
The AHA has been in the animal business for a very long time and knows that humans and animals have shared a powerful bond since the beginning of time. Part of their charitable works comes from the fact that they harness the healing power that that bond creates and use it in things like animal-assisted therapy sessions.
If you look at most medical studies relating animals, you will discover that even medical professionals realize that there is something special about having an animal around. So many studies have been conducted on this very front. Dogs, especially, seem to create an air of solace and relief for individuals suffering from physical or emotional pain. Because the AHA realizes this, too, they have also been a leader in the field of study and practice that is referred to as Animal-Assisted Therapy, or AAT.
AAT is used with children that have suffered from abuse or neglect. It can also be used by patients that are undergoing chemotherapy or other such difficult medical procedures. Lastly, AAT can help veterans returning from war and their family members also affected by the struggles one experiences after battle. By being present, they realize that the saying, “When one person joins, the whole family serves,” is not just a saying but a way of life. The AHA wants to use AAT to help each and every member of military families get back on track.
The American Humane Association has utilized a form of AAT since 1945 with the U.S. military. The benefits were evident when they supported a therapy dog program in order to provide returning military personnel; providing comfort and motivation to returning WWII soldiers.
The AHA has also partnered with Zoetis in order to launch their ground-breaking research study entitled Canines and Childhood Cancer (CCC). With this forward research project, they hope to discover just how effective the canine presence is on pediatric oncology patients and their families.
It is the hope of the AHA that with continued commitment to AAT, that it will grow in other fashions within the healthcare industry as they know, only too well, that a dog can heal the mind, body and soul. They have seen this healing in action!
While the American Humane Association is charitable, it is because of the general public that they are able to remain that way. While many individuals complain that organizations like the AHA seem to always have their hand out asking for donations, they may not be lucky enough to realize that when they do stick their hand out that it may just come back to them a million-fold if they do donate. Charity is like that, what comes around goes around. If you never take part in helping different organizations succeed, you may not be lucky enough to be a recipient of their charity either. Only you can make the choice!