For people who are terminally ill, animal-assisted therapy has been shown to address the basic needs of love, belongingness and self-esteem, according to a 2014 study published in the psychology journal of Mount Saint Mary College. Animal therapy is also associated with natural pain management and emotional support, a decrease in loneliness and an increase in socialization.
Volunteers report tremendous satisfaction from serving in this capacity, enriching the lives of others while reaping personal rewards. A Hope Hospice volunteer said, “I’ve received so much great training as part of my volunteer experience at Hope Hospice. I’ve learned the types of things everyone should be aware of at this important time so I can truly help others going through it.”