Types of Animal Visits
Pet therapy is a guided interaction between a person and a trained animal. At St. Luke's, most of our therapy pets are dogs and cats, but other animals are welcome. It also involves the animal's handler. Animal Assisted Activity and Animal Assisted Therapy (AAA/AAT) are both provided by our Pet Pal Teams.
Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT)
AAT is a professionally guided, structured set of sessions that helps people reach specific goals in their treatment. Those goals could be physical, social, cognitive, emotional, and / or a combination of goals.
Animal Assisted Activities (AAA)
AAA involves more casual meetings in which an animal and its handler interact with one or more people for comfort or recreation. These pets have a special aptitude for interacting with members of the public and enjoy doing so.
A service animal is any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.
Under the stipulations of the ADA, trained service dogs can be with their owners inside restaurants, hospitals, airplanes, hotels and other establishments. Service animals must be allowed access to wherever their handlers are allowed access, but are not therapy animals.
Emotional Support Animals
Emotional support animals may be socialized and obedience-trained, but they are not trained to perform any specific disability-related tasks. They are paired with one particular person, often for life. Service and emotional support animals are not therapy program animals. Please see the ada.gov website for specific details.
Personal Pet Visits
Personal pet visits are to be approved by the nursing unit. The pet will be accompanied at all times by someone other than the patients, be groomed 24 hours before visit, and only visit its owner.