Animal-Assisted Therapy

Harnessing the Healing Power of the Human-Animal Bond

girl with therapy dog on floorSince the dawn of civilization, humans and animals have shared a powerful bond. Through the ages, this bond has been a source of solace and relief for those who suffer from physical or emotional pain. To explore the healing and learning power of this relationship, American Humane Association has been a leader in a field of study and practice known today as Animal-Assisted Therapy, or AAT.

Animal-Assisted Therapy has been shown to help children who have experienced abuse or neglect, patients undergoing chemotherapy or other difficult medical treatments, and veterans and their families who are struggling to cope with the effects of wartime military service.

With new research and a continued commitment to professionalism, AAT will continue to grow in mainstream healthcare acceptance and practice – one more tool to enhance individuals' well-being, and one more reminder of the vital and multifaceted role that animals can play in every aspect of our lives.

Animal-Assisted Therapy Research

American Humane Association and Zoetis have launched a ground-breaking research study – the Canines and Childhood Cancer (CCC) research project – to investigate the impacts of animal-assisted therapy on pediatric cancer patients and their families. Read more here.

Helping Children of America's Military Families

Whether it's the empty chair at the dinner table at home or the fear of what might happen abroad, children are greatly affected when a parent is called to military duty. More than two million children in the United State have had a parent deployed to active military duty since the start of the Global War on Terrorism, many serving multiple consecutive tours – unprecedented in the U.S. military. Since 2011, American Humane Association has partnered with the National Military Family Association to provide warm, playful and loving therapy dogs (and even therapy llamas, mules, miniature horses and more!) for their Operation Purple camps and family retreats. See our camps in action here!

How You Can Help

boy leaning over therapy dogThese programs have the potential to changes the lives of so many of our brave soldiers and their families, children with cancer, and many more in need. But we need your support! Your gift today could do so much. For more information, please contact us at 1-866-242-1877 or

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