Animal therapy

The interaction between humans and animals is a very special thing. There are so many ways in which spending time with an animal can be beneficial to a person’s wellbeing, and here at Oreo and Friends we like to help in any way we can.

Our animals get involved in encounters in a wide variety of places, and one of their favourite things to do is to spend time with people in special circumstances. They’ve visited environments such as senior centres and care homes, and hospices for both adults and children. Many of these people can sometimes feel isolated due to their circumstances, and may for whatever reason not have access to the companionship of an animal friend. Studies have shown that calm interaction with an animal can reduce stress, help with relaxation, and even lower blood pressure. It also gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling inside that comes from the unconditonal love of a furry friend! We’ve seen these benefits first hand, and it really is incredible to see the joy and pleasure people get from spending some quality time with Oreo and his friends. Interaction with any animal is wonderful, but the fact that our animals are exotic seems to make the experience even more special for many people. We’ve been moved many times by our visits to children’s hospices – to see the faces of so many poorly little boys and girls light up as they cuddle an animal they’d never even heard of before is truly rewarding.

Our brood has also visited schools for young people with learning difficulties, spending time with kids that often have very complex needs. Again, there are so many benefits that interactions with our animals can have – whether they’re acting as sensory stimuli or a relaxation tool, helping to increase attention span or boost self confidence, or simply providing enjoyment and pleasure for people that may not otherwise get the chance to meet exotic animals. What’s more, the critters love the attention they receive!

Oreo and his friends also play another important role during our encounters – they’ve helped a great many people to overcome their animal phobias! We’ve met countless people with crippling phobias – most often of spiders or snakes – and it can be an awful thing to live with. It therefore gives us so much pleasure to see guests at our encounters tackle their fear head on, and pluck up the courage to hold a tarantula or boa constrictor! So many people have told us that getting the chance to touch the animal at their own pace in a safe environment really helped them to dispel the fear that once overwhelmed them. We’re so pleased to have helped to create so many new spider and snake fans!

If you know anyone that you think could benefit from a bit of quality time with our animals, feel free to get in touch via the contact page. Obviously, not all of our animals are suitable for this type of encounter (some are a bit too excitable for certain situations, for one thing!) but we’d be happy to discuss all of that with you when you make your enquiry. Can’t wait to hear from you!