At Lort Smith we believe in and promote the benefits of the human–animal bond which goes beyond companionship. This bond refers to the strong positive interaction that exists between humans and animals – the special cohesive relationship that enhances human quality of life and has the power to heal. The therapeutic benefits of the human–animal bond are well documented, and can include emotional, psychological, physical and spiritual benefits.
Not everyone can have a pet, particularly patients and residents in aged-care facilities, hospitals, disability services and other facilities. Pet Therapy volunteers take their specially assessed dogs to hospitals and residential care services across Melbourne, providing comfort and relief to people experiencing illness, adversity and loneliness. They also provide stress relief, respite and support to facility staff, who often work in very challenging environments, where a hug or a moment spent connecting with an animal can act as a circuit breaker, bringing a calming effect.
Learn more about our pet therapy volunteer program.