Adopting Other Animals – When a baby loses its mom, sometimes another animal will feed or care for it.
Giving Blood – When one pet is so sick that it needs a blood transfusion, we will use blood from a donor pet. Donor pets must be under 6 years old and their blood types must match.
Pet Therapy – Pets go into nursing homes and hospitals to brighten the spirits of the residents.
• Prisoners and kids with problems are allowed to train dogs, then must let them go to their new owners.
• Troubled kids take care of many pets at adolescent treatment facilities. These programs teach them to care for others, learn what it feels like to be loved and needed, and helps the kids to come out of their shells.
• Horse riding programs for disabled people of all ages help them realize they are not as limited by their disabilities as they think.
• Pet Therapy pets include dogs, cats, birds, horses, cows, snakes, lizards and others.
Guide Dogs – There are a number of ways in which guide dogs help people. They help sight and hearing impaired people live more normal lives. They are trained to be the people’s eyes and ears. Seizure sensing dogs will alert their owner that they are about to have a seizure so they can get into a safe place. Physically impaired people use dogs to open doors, bring them the telephone, etc. Guide dogs are usually Labrador Retrievers.
Herding Dogs – For centuries, herding dogs have been used to keep watch over sheep, goats, llamas, cattle, horses, etc. so the ranchers don’t lose them to predators like wolves. Australian Shepherds and Heelers are good examples of herding dogs.
Hunting Dogs – These dogs are trained to help their master find prey, such as foxes. They also bring animals back to their owners after they have been shot, such as ducks. Some hunting dogs include Retrievers, Pointers and Hounds.
Sled Dogs – Sled dogs are a necessity in every day life for those living in Arctic regions. For some, the dogs are their only mode of transportation. Most sled dogs are Huskies.
Law Enforcement – Trained dogs such as German Shepherds are used to capture and detain criminals who try to run.
• Some dogs are trained to sniff bomb-making materials and alert their handler that they are present.
• Drug sniffing dogs are trained to alert their handlers that they have found drugs in places such as airports, homes, and traffic stops.
• Trained dogs such as Labrador Retrievers are hired by insurance companies and can detect if a fire was started by arson.
Search and Rescue – Trained dogs can sniff out cadavers in catastrophes such as 9/11, earthquakes and avalanches. Bloodhounds are often used to find missing people and fugitives.
Saving People – When something bad is about to happen, pets often alert their owners. Many pets have saved humans from fires. When humans are in trouble some pets come to the rescue. They have been known to dive into icy water to save their owners.
Companionship – This is probably the most important way pets help others. Pets give needed companionship, unconditional love, and devotion to both humans and other animals. Studies have shown that household pets reduce stress levels of their owners. Next time your cat or dog interrupts your work to be petted, thank them for reducing your stress!