Study tests power of dogs against cancer
To almost anyone who’s cared for a child with cancer, it seems obvious: Sometimes the best medicine isn’t a drug, it’s a dog — four paws and a furry tail — that can make a kid feel better.
Doctors say they’ve known about the value of therapy pets in hospitals for years. Parents swear by them for soothing a scared or angry child. But such reports have been largely anecdotal — until now.
Backed by a nearly $1 million grant from veterinary health firm Zoetis, with matching funds from the Pfizer Foundation, the American Humane Association is launching what advocates say is the first clinical trial of the effects of what’s known as animal-assisted therapy, or AAT, on young cancer patients and their families.