SAN FRANCISCO's Animal Assisted Therapy program and others - including one involving dolphins helping autistic children in Florida to speak - have been recorded by the Latham Foundation of Alameda, Calif. Since 1918, the foundation has focused on research and education about the human/companion animal bond through community service projects, television programming, and film/video documentaries available to care facilities worldwide.
Other projects sponsored report:
In two Colorado prisons, breaking of wild horses by inmates.
Equestrian therapy for physically and mentally impaired at the Cheff Center for the Handicapped in Augusta, Mich.
A new program to eliminate recidivism at a Washington State correctional institution, in which women are given dogs from the humane society to train as service animals.
``One woman was so transformed,'' says the foundation's Richard Burns, ``that she was able to leave prison and now has a real job working in a kennel. ... It's a most heart-tugging thing.''
Using animals as catalysts for healing was documented as early as 1792, in England's York Retreat for the insane. For more than 100 years, the Bethel facility in West Germany has used dogs, cats, horses, and birds to help rehabilitate patients.