Enhancing Well-being Through Animal Companionship

Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) harnesses the therapeutic power of animals to enhance well-being and reduce stress, serving as a vital component of treatment programs. This approach not only improves social, emotional, and cognitive functions but also offers unconditional love that fosters better therapeutic responses. AAT proves especially beneficial for individuals uncomfortable with human touch, providing comfort through the simple acts of petting or hugging an animal. Moreover, the playful nature of pets can offer relaxation and enjoyment, even to those typically indifferent to animals. For children and seniors alike, the companionship of a pet encourages the development of nurturing skills and promotes physical activity and engagement, proving transformative across all ages. Our commitment extends to serving those with special needs in our community, where the unique bond with animals opens new paths to healing and growth.

What Are The Benefits?

Who Benefits? Addressing Diverse Challenges

Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy - EAP

A Collaborative Path to Self-Discovery: EAP is a collaborative effort between a licensed therapist and a trained horse professional that works with clients and horses to address treatment goals. EAP is considered a short-term or a “brief” approach to therapy because it has a high level of intensity.

EAP is an experiential therapy, which means that participants learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with the horses, and the processing (and discussing) of feelings, behaviors, and patterns. EAP has been compared to therapists using ropes courses, but the primary difference is that EAP has an added advantage of utilizing horses, which are dynamic and powerful living beings.

The EAGALA model forms the foundation of EAP, highlighting a collaborative team effort involving equine specialists and mental health professionals. This model concentrates on solution-focused activities conducted on the ground alongside horses, rather than horseback riding. It encourages clients to engage in self-directed problem-solving and creative thinking, all within a structured ethical framework.

Who We Serve

At-Risk Youth: Path to Empathy

Scatter Joy Acres uses animal interactions to teach empathy and responsibility to at-risk youth, many of whom share similar backgrounds of neglect or abuse with our animals. By fostering safe and nurturing relationships with animals, these children learn to trust, love, and open up, helping them to transform from victims to compassionate protectors. Our program offers a safe space for healing and learning, empowering them to overcome their pasts and envision a brighter future.

Veterans: Courage to Heal

Veterans often return home with unseen wounds such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety, facing increased risks of violence and homelessness. Scatter Joy Acres employs Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) to address these issues, offering a judgment-free zone where veterans and their families can find solace and understanding. Through interactions with animals, veterans learn to navigate their emotions and experiences, paving the way for recovery and a healthier life.

Students: Discovering Nature’s Classroom

Scatter Joy Acres connects children of all ages to nature through interactive animal encounters. Our programs, designed for both onsite visits and offsite educational experiences, ensure enriching engagement with a variety of friendly animals. From playful field trips to educational activities, we provide a unique blend of fun and learning for urban youth and families.

Seniors: A New Lease on Life

Pets significantly enhance seniors’ lives by providing companionship, a sense of purpose, and improved well-being. At Scatter Joy Acres, we bridge the gap for seniors in communities where pets are not allowed, offering interactions that can lead to increased socialization, reduced stress, and better physical health.


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