EBS adds a cat to its Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) lineup

This year, EBS became a training site for PAWS Pet Therapy Teams and was pleased to host our first STX Testing and Orientation for 4 new Pet Therapy Teams joining PAWS great work! These new teams will move on to lovingly provide therapeutic visits to the community and partnering sites.

Teams working at EBS are not only therapeutic in providing companionship, but are complementary to traditional therapy and educational programs. They support formal and goal oriented therapy as each team includes a professional therapist or works closely with a therapist in the delivery of services.

EBS is especially excited about our new Therapy Cat, Teddy (aka 75 cent)!

Although dogs have traditionally been recruited as therapy animals, cats are now beginning to be used more and more. The vibration of their purring actually has healing properties. Therapy cats, like Teddy, are used to help children with developmental disorders like autism be more comfortable with the world around them.

It takes a very special cat to become a service animal. First, the animal will need a physical exam by a veterinarian to make sure the animal has all its vaccinations and is healthy. Then the animal will need obedience training and the ability to wear a harness so it can be properly controlled by the handler. The animall’s handler must also take lessons in how to interact with students, clients, and patients. At this point, the animal is evaluated according to its temperament and how it behaves with its handler. And while a house cat can comfort its owner, it needs to have a high tolerance for strangers and hugs to become a registered therapy cat. Finally, the animal and handler team receives certification. For Teddy, he even had to conquer his fear of riding in cars!

EBS is so proud of Teddy for receiving his certification! Congratulations Teddy and all of PAWS’ special new teams!

Meet Teddy, the EBS Therapy Cat!

Teddy, AKA: “75 cent”, is a very sweet and loving Siamese cat. When you first meet Teddy, you might think he is just like every other cat. In many ways he is, but Teddy only has three legs. He doesn’t let his disability stop him though! He is able to do anything other cats can do, he just has figured out other ways to be able to do them!  Teddy loves to run, climb and play with his brother and sisters when he is at home. One little friend observed that Teddy is a cross between a kangaroo and a cheetah since he gets around so quickly on only 3 legs.

Teddy loves meeting new people and visiting different places.  He especially loves his work at the EBS Children’s Therapy Clinic. He’s even convinced some “dog-people” that cats aren’t so bad!

Oh and Duke, our first EBS Children’s Therapy dog, thinks Teddy is “purrfectly” wonderful too!