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Tails of Joy Animal Assisted Therapy
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Providing Therapeutic Benefit to People
Through the Use of Animals
Tails of Joy members volunteer throughout Hartford, Tolland and Windham counties and neighboring towns in Connecticut.

HomeAnimal Assisted Reading Programs

Animal Assisted Reading Programs

Reading Programs
Research with therapy animals indicates that children with low self-esteem are often more willing to interact with an animal than another person. Further, during such interaction they are inclined to forget about their limitations. There are also physiological benefits to interacting with animals, including increased relaxation and lower blood pressure.

The premise of animal reading programs is that children will find reading to an animal less intimidating, a special time for them that is helpful and fun and will become a positive environment in which learning is facilitated.

Getting Involved With Your Pet

If you’re already a registered therapy team, consider these qualities of what a good reading team looks like, so you can consider whether this might be a good fit for you and your therapy companion.

Therapy Animal Qualities
• Calm, quiet, attentive and comfortable in low-key setting
• Able to deal with close and unexpected encounters with large groups of rambunctious children
• Solid obedience skills
• Tolerant of chaotic environments and sudden loud noises
• Tolerant of tugging, pulling, and exuberant handling
• Neutral to presence of toys and lunch remnants in trash baskets

Human Teammate Qualities
• Enjoy children
• Be a competent reader and love to read
• Willingness to get to know the children

Required Commitment
• Time commitments typically are for the duration of the school year or an ongoing library program
• Grooming commitment as a desirable reading companion and role model

If you're interested in becoming a reading team with your pet but you aren't yet a registered therapy team check out the other resources on our website, come to a Tails of Joy meeting to find out more and meet some therapy teams, or Contact TOJ for more information.