The last decade has witnessed a growing trend toward developing new ways in which human beings may benefit from the creative and non-exploitative use of animals. These animals, generally having some special or unique quality and often referred to as companion animals or pets, have demonstrated a therapeutical value for many persons far beyond the parameters of simple recreation. More specifically, the animals have shown many times over their value as therapeutical adjuncts for the handicapped; a well-known example developed early in this century being the use of guide dogs for the blind. More recent developments are organized horseback riding centers for the handicapped stressing "therapeutical horsemanship" and often adding the element of "risk exercise" (Rosenthal, 1975) to the rather special relationship between man and animal. Interest in these relationships has grown greatly in recent year s and the field has become commonly known as "animal- " or "pet-facilitated " psychotherapy (PFT). The greatest problem in all this enthusiasm appears to be the dearth of research and scientific study to support the benefits of many of the PFT-type of programs; the horsemanship program I mentioned above being a good example in particular (Rosin, 1980). However, continued growth in the field appears likely and some researchers who may have previously felt such a subject would not hold up to the "scientific" standards of their colleagues, can now feel more at ease with their interest. As Curtis (1981) stated, "the bond between people and their pets is now the subject of respectable scientific scrutiny."

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