U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Teams Up With Pet Partners
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is partnering with Pet Partners to help improve the quality of life, social engagement and health of veterans through increased access of animal-assisted activities (AAA) and animal-assisted therapy (AAT) services throughout the VA health care system.
Pet Partners and VA will train therapy animal teams and encourage VA medical facilities to establish and expand trained therapy animal visitation and AAA and AAT programs to give patients the sense of connection, comfort and joy that comes from spending time with animals.
“This partnership will add to the health care services and programs VA offers to veterans, as emerging research recognizes the positive effects interactions with animals can have on patients,” said Robert Wilkie, VA secretary. “VA’s work with Pet Partners will help veterans support well-being through animal-assisted activities and therapy, which research shows can be very beneficial.”
The partnership will also provide Veteran communities with volunteer opportunities and integrate veterans and their families into Pet Partners activities and events.