Therapy Pets Aid in Recovery of Child Abuse, Neglect

Therapy Pets Aid in Recovery of Child Abuse, Neglect
March, 2011 Client News

WHAT: Come and learn about the magical healing power of animals. Children who have been abused are often untrusting and fearful of other humans as a result of their experiences. The unconditional love that animals bring to the children at the Polinsky Children’s Center has been extremely powerful – children have uttered their first words while in animal therapy and some children have displayed their first signs of empathy and affection during these moving encounters. The pets have an innate sense of who to bond with. The silent connection between these two vulnerable populations is compelling.

Promises2Kids, currently in its 30th year of service to children in need in San Diego, is highlighting the power of Pet Encounter Therapy (PET) and the healing power of animals during National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Through a partnership with Helen Woodward Animal Center, Promises2Kids helps children who must reside at the Polinsky Children’s Center due to abuse or neglect. A variety of animals visit the children at the Center each week including dogs, rabbits, reptiles and guinea pigs. This is a private event, not open to the public.

Through regular animal-assisted therapy, the Pet Encounter Therapy program helps to break the cycle of suffering, cruelty, and neglect by bringing unconditional love and the tactile benefits of animals to abused, neglected and abandoned children.

 April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and there is no better time to raise awareness about local organizations that help abused and neglected children. Promises2Kids funds the Polinsky Children’s Center to ensure foster children in San Diego receive the shelter and support they need to become happy, well-adjusted adults. Studies have shown that the unconditional love and affection of animals provides a wide array of benefits including relaxation, reduced stress, and improved self esteem.

Polinsky Children’s Center. 9400 Ruffin Ct # B, San Diego, CA 92123-5399. Convenient parking in adjacent lot.

WHEN: Friday, April 1 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. The pets will arrive at the facility at this time for therapy sessions and interviews.

•    Animals from the Pet Encounter Therapy Program, including dogs and reptiles.

•    Susan Golding, CEO and President, Promises2Kids
•    Robin Cohen, Manager of Pet Encounter Therapy Program, Helen Woodward Animal Center
•    Rosalina Burton, Guardian Scholar of Promises2Kids, will candidly speak on her experience with the Program and how it has helped her. Rosalina will be graduating from high school this spring.

 Arika Daniels, Scatena Daniels Communications. 949-338-6672 (not for public broadcast)

About Promises2Kids
Originally founded as the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation of San Diego County, Promises2Kids is a 30-year-old nonprofit organization. Since 1981, Promises2Kids has led the fight against child abuse and neglect in the County of San Diego. No other organization in the area offers such a broad array of support systems, nor does any other organization in the area offer such a wealth of opportunity to connect with a wide variety of resources, programs, and collaborative partners focused on eliminating child abuse. More information:
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