Archive for Thursday, July 19, 2007

Bonding with pets

July 19, 2007

To the editor:

I am fortunate to work with a wonderful organization that many readers may be interested in.

Fort Leavenworth Human Animal Bond (HAB) is a volunteer, nonprofit service organization that does scheduled visits at area hospitals, schools, health care facilities and convalescent centers. We enjoy sharing our pets with people and promoting the human-animal bond.

Often, our therapy pets bring people out of their shells, encourage them to talk and revisit more pleasant times in memory. Medical studies suggest that blood pressure may be lowered and hospital stays shortened when patients have access to pets. Often, a visit with a pet can be the high point in the day of a shut-in, bringing happiness and a sense of calm and well-being. It's often the high point of our day, too.

Dogs, cats and domesticated rabbits are currently authorized to participate. Pets must be examined and certified as "healthy" and "temperament appropriate" by the Human Animal Bond veterinary chief (at Fort Leavenworth) every six months. The assessments are free. (While assisted by the Veterinary Clinic on the fort, we are not part of the Department of Defense.)

We meet at 6 p.m. the last Wednesday of every month at MidAmerican Bank and welcome anyone interested in joining our group to come to a meeting. Our next meeting is July 25.

People can also check out the group online by visiting ftleavenworthhab.org. Thank you for the opportunity to share HAB with your readers.

Crystal Swann Blackdeer

Tonganoxie

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