There has been significant research and demonstration of the benefit of animal therapies with children and adults. A recent article in the South Florida Parenting Magazine reports that:
“Studies of animal therapy have shown repeatedly that exposure to animals helps improve morale and communication, bolster self-esteem, calm anxiety…. and specific animal therapies can augment traditional physical, occupational or even speech therapy. Animals used in therapy help children, often with severe challenges, to feel better about themselves.”
Sanctuary residents designated for Animal Therapy Training will be employed to work with children with autism, mental retardation and learning disabilities. We will also develop an Autism Treatment Center that will specialize in holistic therapies being discovered to treat and cure Autism. Residents of the Adult Living Facility will also be welcome to volunteer to work with the children according to their abilities and interest.
Childhood obesity in this country has reached epidemic proportions. Willow Star Haven will develop a gymnasium facility and fitness program that can be marketed via pediatricians and schools. The goal will be to provide weekend and summer activities designed to instill nutrition and fitness awareness that will develop lifelong, healthy habits.