According to a new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, pets offer the same emotional benefits as human friendship. The study used questionnaires, surveys, and focus groups to determine that the overwhelming majority of participants that own a pet measured higher in self-esteem and lower in loneliness. The study also states; "We repeatedly observed evidence that people who enjoyed greater benefits from their pets also were closer to other important people in their lives and received more support from them, not less."
Pets’ ability to increase self-esteem has led them into roles for many varying rehabilitation services. Some pets have entered into the workforce as full-time morale boosters in hospitals, retirement homes, and even prisons! North Carolina, along with many other states, has implemented a state sponsored program that allows prisoners to train shelter dogs. “A New Leash on Life is a program that allows minimum and medium custody state prisons to partner with local animal shelters, animal welfare agencies, and/or private non-profit agencies to train dogs in preparation for their adoption.”
|An inmate works with a dog in the New Leash on Life program|
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