Animal Assisted Therapy: Examining its Positive Effects on Schizophrenia and the Ethical and Moral Effects of Animals Placed in Therapy

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Kapdee, Anita
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The effects of schizophrenia are devastating not only to the individuals diagnosed, but also to family, friends and society. Animals employed in Animal Assisted Therapy have been found to better assist those diagnosed with schizophrenia psychologically, physically and cognitively, due to their accepting, calm and nurturing nature. This extended literature review examines the positive effects Animal Assisted Therapy has for individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia. The author also outlines the negative costs to therapy animals employed in therapy due to the loss of their freedom, rights and emotional and physical well-being. This paper hopes to inform others on the negative consequences towards animals in therapy and how there are not strict laws to protect them from harm. Therapists who are in a private setting incorporating their pets on a limited basis is proposed as an alternative form of Animal Assisted Therapy. This proposed alternative form of animal therapy will allow animals to assist individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia (or not) without the cost of their welfare or safety.