Emotional Pet Support aims to educate the general public about the Fair Housing Act and help pet owners secure their right to own an emotional support animal regardless of whether they live in a single family home, condo or apartment.
Every pet owner knows that special feeling of coming home after a long day to a pet that’s excited to see you. Every bark, meow, or chirp is a sign that your pet loves you, and having that unconditional affection can brighten even our darkest days.
Beyond just positively affecting our mood, spending time with a beloved animal can improve our physical and emotional health. This phenomenon is called the Pet Effect.
Researchers have found that spending time with pets relieves the symptoms of some mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. Pet owners also enjoy lower rates of heart disease and other physical illnesses. The Pet Effect has been particularly studied in the parents, spouses, and children of fallen members of the armed forces as well as veterans, and scientists have found the presence of a pet truly helps people overcome grief and chronic pain.
People who can’t have pets—such as those living in assisted living facilities and nursing homes—can benefit from the Pet Effect in other ways. Visitation therapy, in which an animal visits a facility to let patients enjoy their presence, is very popular in nursing homes around the world, as is ownership therapy, where a patient takes full care of a pet as part of their treatment. The benefits of using therapeutic animals are manifold, but essentially, the animals provide patients with stimulation, physical activity, and social interactions that can improve their mood, take their mind off problems, and generally improve their health.
Another way of enjoying the Pet Effect without having a personal pet is by volunteering with animal organizations. The ASPCA is one association that frequently lists volunteer opportunities. Even the smallest contact with animals can help improve our state of mind.