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Animals and Mental Illness

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How animals can assist with mental illness...

You’re probably aware that pets are good for people. They love us unconditionally, make us laugh, give us exercise, keep us company and can sometimes sense when we’re feeling sad.

Pets are also great listeners. They can act as a therapist and will listening to us endlessly while comforting us at the same time. You can talk to your pet about anything and it’s almost guaranteed they won’t judge you.

Caring for an animal is also a positive way to give someone a sense of purpose. As pets need to be regularly fed, cleaned, exercised and shown lots of attention, they rely on their owners to do so.

Animals offer us unlimited affection, they have the ability to lower our stress levels and lift our spirits. They love us unconditionally and want to be around us most of the time. Research also shows that patting a pet releases endorphins. These are chemicals released from the brain that give us a sense of pleasure.

Pet therapy or animal-assisted therapy is also becoming common in hospitals and psychiatric wards as it's becoming more apparent that animals do assist with illness. Having a pet around can help improve a person’s mental, emotional, physical and social states.

Pets also give us the opportunity to meet other people and socialising with other pet owners as they socialise as well. How many times have you gone to pat a cute puppy or met someone at the dog park?

Dating back centuries, the appreciation of using pets as therapy started from long ago. Animals have also been used in the past to assist with people with disabilities as well as the elderly.

There’s no denying the bond between an animal and human is strong. They enhance our quality of life just by existing. It goes to show, we need them just as much as they need us!


Hip Surgery for rescued puppy

2 weeks ago whilst we were in Fiji we rescued an abandoned puppy that we estimate is about 3 months old. She was starving, filthy, covered in ticks and could barely stand or walk. We fed her, washed her, removed all ticks and just gave her love. We called her Pretzel as she was so skinny when we found her that all her bones were sticking out and her hip bones looked like a big twisted pretzel and her long skinny legs looked like Pretzel sticks. Our intention was to find her a home in Fiji but after a week or so she had gained weight, but we noticed that her left hip bone was still protruding and that when she walked we noticed that her left back foot turned out slightly. Also, when she ran she would use both back legs together and hop like a bunny. We took her to an animal shelter in Fiji called Animals Fiji and they examined her and advised that they thought it might be dislocated. They X-rayed her and then sedated her to try and manipulate the bone back into the socket. This was unsuccessful. The vet advised that it appeared that the end of the bone where the ball should be round was malformed either from a trauma/injury when young or by birth. He advised that he does not have the equipment in Fiji to treat her properly and that she would need surgery to correct the bone and to tighten the ligaments to her support her leg. We are exporting her to Australia on the 7th of March and are trying to raise some funds to assist us. We are hoping that you can assistance to find a Vet in Melbourne that could assist with the operation at a reasonable price.