The soothing action of stroking a dog’s fur, watching fish swim across an aquarium, or even listening to a cat’s purr, can provide stress-reducing comfort not easily afforded by other means. The effect pets may have on reducing the stresses that go along with illness may actually stimulate a physiological response to reduce tension and stress, which in turn may reduce the physical problems. Pets often create a sense of purpose to continue
living, to nurture and care for a beloved little “family member.” By providing unconditional love and attachment, pets can increase a sense of self-worth and induce a survival mechanism of their owners.
Studies have clearly indicated that owning a pet has been demonstrated to:
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels
- Decrease the incidence of minor health problems
- Reduce trips to the doctors by senior citizens
- Decrease heart attack morbidity rate by 3 percent
- Improve the pet owner’s psychological well-being Researchers are finding that pets truly have the power to heal their owners, especially the elderly. The most serious disease for older people is not cancer or heart disease, but loneliness. Too often, people who live alone or are suddenly widowed die of broken hearts. Love is the most important medicine and pets are one of nature’s best sources of affection. Pets relax and calm. They take the human mind off loneliness, grief, pain, and fear. They cause laughter and offer a sense of security and protection. They encourage exercise and broaden the circle of one’s acquaintances. Patients in hospitals and nursing homes who have regular visits from pets – whether their own or those brought in from various agencies – are more receptive to medical treatment and nourishment. Animals give the patient the will to live and in nursing homes, the medical staff is often surprised to see residents suddenly “become alive.” Animals have a calming effect on humans and benefit mental well-being, especially with children and the elderly.
- Children, especially those who are abused or neglected, are able to communicate with animals. A pet offers a safe place for a child with emotional problems. They give unconditional love, providing a security blanket. A dog, cat, ferret or parrot can be the bond that glues a family together when upheaval, such as moving, death or divorce, occurs. Often, an animal can reach a child beyond an adult’s touch. Professionals in the field of pet-assisted therapy find that in addition to cats and dogs, fish, pot-bellied pigs, birds, reptiles, rabbits, guinea pigs, goats, horses and llamas are also valuable healers. They have also found pets lower blood pressure and stress levels, give the patient a reason to interact, offer a chance to exercise and a sense of security and/or intimacy, allow communication, and offer continuity in life. The innocence of animals and their ability to love makes animals special. Human beings want to be part of their world, to connect with them in a mysterious and powerful way that will strengthen and nurture both humans and animals. That animals feel our pain, our joy, and our stress should come as no surprise for anyone who has a pet. Whether we recognize it or not, the emotional as well as the physical environment we humans create has a direct impact on the way our pets behave. What experts know, however, is that animals allow humans to focus, even for a short period of time, on something other than themselves. Animals, especially small ones, have shown promise for many conditions, both social and physical:
- But the benefits of pet therapy can work both ways. The people who provide pet therapy services often speak about how rewarding it is for them. Even better, pets and people of any age can volunteer in a therapeutic capacity. Some organizations even prefer to provide pet therapy to senior citizens using older pets—further proof that age doesn’t matter when love is involved.
- Pets help Alzheimer’s patients by bringing them back to the present. Specially trained pups can also help alert others that an Alzheimer’s patient has wandered into harm’s way. “Pets can provide a measure of safety to people with the disease,” says Thomas Kirk, a vice president of a chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
- Children who suffer from attention deficit disorder (ADD) are able to focus on a pet, which helps them learn to concentrate.
- Mentally ill patients, or those with emotional problems, share a common bond when a cat or dog enters the room. Instead of reacting negatively to one another, it boosts morale and fosters a positive environment.
- Pets are an antidote to depression. Life in a care facility can be boring. A visit from a therapy cat or dog breaks the daily routine and stimulates interest in the world outside.
- Pets provide social interaction. In a health care facility, people come out of their rooms to socialize with the animals and with each other.
- Everyone has the need to touch. Many humans are uncomfortable hugging or touching strangers, even those close to them. Some people are alone and have no hands to hold, no bodies to hug. But rubbing the fur of a cat or dog can provide a stimulation that is sorely lacking. The nonverbal connection is invaluable in the healing process.
- Pets are a source of expectation, hope and communication. Looking forward to a social call or getting home after time away gives that spark of anticipation all humans need to help feel alive. Pets can help start a conversation, and help one who is struggling against unusual difficulties in learning to speak for the first time or after a speech impairment such as a stroke. Animals also provide healing outside domestic settings: dolphin and pet-assisted therapy, horseback riding, farm animal and wildlife interaction, and marine life activity.Featured Dogs- At this time there are no dogs available for adoption.Please check We Care for Animals a foster based rescue group in Mesquite for their available animals- dogs and cats www.wecareforanimals.orgFeatured Cat- MoshiBeautiful dilute tortoiseshell lady. Moshi is very quiet and reserved. She is learning to play with toys. She needs a quiet home with no other cats. She loves being close to you and getting attention and lots of pets and love. Other available cats- At this time there are no other cats available for adoption. Please check out Petfinder site for updates as they become available.The City of Mesquite Animal Shelter located at 795 Hardy Way is open for adoptions from 11am until 1 pm, Monday through Saturday, Sunday 1pm -3pm. Please call 702-346-7415 during these hours to speak to the front desk. Animal Control may be reached by phone or voicemail at 702-346-5268 Please also check our Facebook pages for lost and found animals along with pet information. https://www.facebook.com/MesquiteNVAnimalControl and https://www.facebook.com/FRIENDSOFMESQUITENVANIMALSHELTER
- The animals submitted to the media may have changed so please visit our Petfinder website for a current listing and more detailed information on the animals. www.mesquiteanimalshelter.petfinder.com
- All animals will be spayed or neutered prior to leaving shelter and receive 1 year rabies vaccination and city license. Ages are approximate.