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05.27.2015

Hold your horses! Equine guest attends class

Drama, a miniature horse from Pet Partners, trotted in for hands-on teaching about animal therapy

By Elizabeth Sharpe  |  HSNewsBeat  |  Updated 3:15 PM, 05.27.2015

Posted in: Education

  • Drama, a miniature horse from Pet Partners, delights UW public health students learning about pet therapy and service animals for patients. Gemina Garland-Lewis
An unusual guest was invited to join a class this week. Little more than two and half feet tall and 200 pounds, Drama even sports high tops when the floor is slick.
 
Drama--a miniature horse--is just one of nine different animal species certified by Pet Partners, whose national director spoke to students in a UW class this week.
 
Service animals are trained to assist people with disabilities. Therapy animals, on the other hand, have a special aptitude for interacting with people and, in addition to university campuses, visit pediatric centers, cancer wards, even dentists’ offices.
 
The physical, emotional, and psychological benefits of the human-animal bond were among the topics covered in the Introduction to One Health Course (ENV H 490/590 C) taught by Peter Rabinowitz, associate professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Science and the Department of Global Health. Clinically trained veterinarian Heather Fowler, who is studying for her Ph.D. degree at the UW School of Public Health, helps run the course.
 
After all the ohs and ahs, the selfies, and pets and hugs around her neck, Drama considered her job well done. She looked forward to the reward waiting in the car: mini-carrots.
Tagged with: pet therapy, One Health, service animals, public health
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