We’re always happy to speak to the continuing success of therapy animals helping those of us who need a furry push. Whether it’s assisting young students with their reading classes or easing the stress of needle-averse patients as they receive their vaccines, therapy animals are an excellent way to introduce a comforting presence to soothe a stressful situation and provide ongoing psychological and emotional support.

A recent story in The Japan Times speaks to the use of animal therapy during the nation’s COVID-19 crisis. In one case, Showa Women’s University in Tokyo hosted a special event that brought therapy dogs to meet students suffering from pandemic loneliness. It’s aligned with the recent cautious return to in-person classes, so the dogs seem to be bringing ease to the students, introduced alongside increased closer contact with others.

Outside of higher education, a facility for people living with disabilities in Akita Prefecture sees five women who live with a rescue cat, which has brought the residents there considerable comfort (as well as the now-doted-over feline themselves). It’s one reported example for the organization Anispi Holdings Inc., which operates these types of facilities and has now been introducing rescue dogs and cats to live inside of them.

It all speaks to increased attention and validation for the role of therapy animals as partners of healing. If the past two years are any evidence, these patient pets have their work cut out for them.

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