Animal Assisted Interventions

Animal-assisted interventions (AAI) is an interdisciplinary term to describe
interventions that integrate various species of animals into the care and well-being of human beings. AAI encompasses animal-assisted activities (AAA), animal assisted therapy (AAT), and animal assisted education (AAE).


-Animal assisted activities (AAA) are defined as opportunities for emotional, motivational, educational, social, and/or recreational benefits that enhance the quality of life. AAA is provided by a specially trained professional, paraprofessional and/or volunteer in partnership with an animal that meets specific criteria for suitability. It is the most commonly provided form of AAI for the general public.


-Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is defined as goal-directed intervention, delivered by an appropriately credentialed health or human service professional OR a volunteer with appropriate experience that partners with a professional, in which an animal is incorporated as an integral part of a clinical healthcare treatment plan that is documented and measured.


-Animal assisted education (AAE) is defined as goal-oriented, planned, and measured intervention directed by a general education, special education professional, or a licensed school counselor. The focus is on academic goals, prosocial skills, behavior support, and cognitive functioning with student progress being documented.

IHABS currently provides AAI to residential care facilities, memory care & support, hospice services, mental health care facilities and counseling centers, public libraries, public schools, grief & bereavement support groups, businesses, learning centers, and college campuses.