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Pets as Adjunct Therapists in a Residence for Former Psychiatric Patients

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Aa tank of guppies and a cage of guinea pigs was introduced into an interim residence for former psychiatric patients. The residents showed great concern for the animals and quickly developed social relationships with them. All residents talked to the guinea pigs and most petted them and commiserated with the surviving guppy after the death of its companion. Questionnaire responses indicated that the residents found the presence of the animals beneficial and strongly approved of their continued presence. After the termination of the study period, additional fish were acquired by the residents and plans were made to upgrade the guinea pig holding area. Unfortunately, the residents were unable to maintain this level of concern and the animals had to be removed from the home.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/089279394787001907

Publication date: September 1, 1994

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