Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty Sponsors Shepherd Pups!
Shepherd Center’s Animal-Assisted Therapy Program is one of the many non-traditional approaches that continues to prove successful for patient outcomes. Shepherd Center patients working with animals are better able to reach their goals, often without realizing it. Members of this canine team have become an integral part of therapy and beloved additions to the Shepherd Center family. The dogs assist therapists to treat an average of 30 patients per week in both the spinal cord and brain injury units. Shepherd’s facility dogs are highly effective in occupational and speech therapies, providing patients with opportunities to do tasks such as petting, grooming, visual tracking, and issuing commands. In lieu of using a dumbbell to practice reaching out and picking up items, which could become mundane or even frustrating for a patient with limited dexterity, canine-assisted therapy prompts the patient to hold a brush and stroke the dog’s coat. This alternative allows the patient to accomplish the same goal, but with the added emotional benefits of petting and grooming a dog. Shepherd Center’s facility dogs continually have a profound impact on patients and families, decreasing depression and anxiety, while providing comfort as they cope with their injury or illness and the recovery process.