Animal Assisted Activities (AAA) is the use of animals in recreational and visitation programs. Animal assisted activities have have been proven to reduce stress, improve self-esteem, lower blood pressure, and improve moods and overall well-being. Animal Assisted Activities are most often conducted on a volunteer basis by people and animals (usually dogs), which have received at least introductory training and preparation for visitation in social institutions for motivational, educational and/or recreational reasons.
The IC Library has been sponsoring Animal Assisted Activities since the spring of 2014. These events are typically scheduled around mid-term exams, final exams, and more recently, first year orientation. The LGBT Center has been co-sponsoring these events with the library beginning in Spring of 2019. Note: the chipmunk pictured below happened to be in the area the day of our event, and agreed to be photographed.
The main difference between AAT and AAA is that AAT is goal-oriented, and part of a specific treatment plan while AAA involves using animals for recreation, motivation, education and other life improvement activities.