Welcome to Blackwood Ranch where a special connection is created between animals and people together for healing and rehabilitating through the effects of the human/animal bond. The unconditional love of our pets is shared with those of all ages,varying needs, and walks of life. Those served by our specially trained volunteers and pets include special-needs children and adults, adults in retirement facilities, hospital patients, school children, the general public and other organizations that request our volunteers and their pets. We are excited to share this special experience with you, your facility or school. Let us bring this gift to your community and make the day for an elderly couple or change the dream of a young child's life. It is our pleasure to introduce to you these amazing animals and reach out to as many as we can.
The Healing Effects of Therapy Animals
Spending time with animals produces marked improvements in humans, affecting the physical, mental, emotional and social aspects of their well-being.
Therapy animal teams frequently witness improvements in their clients, and occasionally, measurable improvements are witnessed as well. A tangible example would be a chemotherapy patient who can't receive a treatment because their blood pressure is too high. After visiting with a therapy animal, their blood pressure is re-checked and they are found to be ready for treatment.
Here are just some of the healing effects of therapy animal visits:
- Decrease in stress and anxiety, including that from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Decrease in depression
- Decrease in loneliness and feelings of isolation
- Decrease in aggressive behaviors
- Increase in feeling of acceptance, and in-turn the ability to accept social and emotional support
- Increase in socialization with an outward focus, including opportunities for laughter and a sense of happiness and well-being
- Increase in mental stimulation, attention skills, and verbal interactions
- Increase in spirit and self-esteem, enabling a patient to further participate in mental and physical therapy and to be more involved in group activities
- Decrease in blood pressure
- Decrease in heart rate
- Decrease in the stress hormone cortisol
- Increase in hormones associated with health and a feeling of well-being, including beta-endorphin, beta-phenylethylamine, dopamine, oxytocin, prolactin and serotonin
- Increase in level of fitness by providing stimulus for exercise, with improvement in activities in which they were limited
- Improvement in fine motor skills, standing balance, wheelchair and other physical skills
In addition, the benefits listed above may result in a decrease in a person's need for medications.