Animal Therapy


  • Debra A. Willis BSN RN CNOR

    Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Debra Willis is an operating room nurse at New England Baptist Hospital in Boston and a captain in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps affiliated with a combat support hospital in Boston. She is also the owner of several pets.

67 Sagamore Street, Braintree, MA 02184.


This article explores the concept of animal therapy. The discussion includes a brief history of animal therapy, its importance, its relationship to rehabilitation, and its usefulness as a tool to influence adaptation, change, power, communication, advocacy, teaching, accountability, responsibility, and locus of control. This theoretical concept is important because of the joy and unconditional love animals can provide their owners. Relationships with animals can promote feelings of self-worth, help offset loneliness, reduce anxiety, provide contact, comfort, security, and the feeling of being needed.