by Loree Walden, Marketing Manager, Yavapai Humane Society
There is nothing that compares to the pleasure of coming home to a faithful furry friend. The unconditional love of a pet can do more than keep you company; pets decrease stress, improve heart health and even help with emotional well-being.
Interacting with animals has been shown to decrease levels of cortisol, a stress-related hormone, and lower blood pressure. It’s also been proven that animals can reduce loneliness, improve your mood and help with feelings of anxiety in different circumstances.
Therapy dogs are specifically trained for this and are often brought into nursing homes, retirement centers and hospitals to help reduce patients’ anxiety and stress.
“Dogs are very present. If someone is struggling with something, they know how to sit there and be loving,” says Dr. Ann Berger, a physician and researcher at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. “Their attention is focused on the person all the time.”
The Prescott Police Department recently was given a therapy dog named Eden. In a recent letter to the community, Amy Fillingim, Senior Victim Advocate, stated “Once Eden comes on board, she will be assigned to our Victim Services Unit where she will provide comfort and support to victims of violent crime in our community.”
“Eden will have the unique training and opportunity to be present with children and adults during law enforcement and forensic interviews, in court hearings, and if needed, Eden can lay at the feet of a victim if they are called to testify, providing much needed stress relief and comfort during such a frightful and emotional time.”
“In addition to these duties, Eden will have a second and equally powerful purpose. She will provide the same comforting support to members of our staff. From patrol to investigations, dispatch to records, when Eden is not working with a victim, she will have the freedom to roam the station and provide stress relieving ‘play time’ with our staff. Eden will furthermore have dedicated time in our dispatch center and will be brought in to aid when debriefing staff on critical events.”
Whether they are providing support as Eden or they’re sitting on your lap while you watch TV, these animals are there for us 100%; no questions asked, no judgement, just pure unconditional love.