Pet Therapy

The Therapeutic Power Of Pets
At Three Rivers, our residents delight in the companionship and numerous health benefits that come from our beloved live-in pet dog, Moose.
The best medicine for some medical or mental health issues isn’t just medicine at all … it’s pet therapy (also known as animal-assisted therapy) in the form of a wet nose or an outdoor stroll to brighten a resident’s day.


Moose, once a “Paws in Prison” dog, is a seven-year-old Labrador mix that lights up the faces of our residents when he walks into a room.


On any day of the week, Moose can be found roaming from room to room visiting residents and enjoying the not-so-occasional doggie treat. He’s also been known to take plenty of naps as residents turn the pages of their favorite read, play in the courtyard with his favorite toy, or stretch his legs on a walk.

Studies show that simply the nature of certain animals make them instinctive healers for humans, providing unconditional love, emotional presence, and true companionship. It’s no wonder Moose is spoiled by all the residents, and even by family members that come to visit.


Another benefit of having Moose is a monthly group excursion to Petco. While Moose is groomed and pampered, residents love picking out new toys and treats for Moose, and interacting with other animals in the store.


We’ve also seen first-hand the positive impact that Moose has had on our residents. Pet therapy has been known to keep residents active, boost well-being, and help improve health issues including high blood pressure and anxiety.

The benefits of pet therapy for seniors are abundant and may include:

  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Releasing endorphins that have a calming effect
  • Reducing anxiety and loneliness
  • Diminishing overall physical pain
  • Stimulating memory
  • Increasing socialization and sense of community

  • Improving verbal communication
  • Motivating physical activity
  • Boosting self-esteem
  • Reducing boredom and loneliness
  • Improving assisted or independent movement