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Few would be surprised to hear that animals delight and entertain humans. After all, there are numerous pet owners throughout the country, and the pet industry is thriving. But how many would believer that pets can be good for our health? Yet a growing number of experiences and studies are showing that pets do provide therapeutic benefits to the menatally ill, the physcially ill and the handicapped.

The idea that animals can be useful in treating the mentally ill is not a new idea. In fact, the first known use of animals for that particular purpose began around 1792, when the Society of Friends established the York Retreat in England as a humane alternative to the brutal lunatic asylums of the time. They hoped that patients would learn self-control through caring for others, they were encouraged to care for rabbits, poultry, and other small animals. However, the actual formal use of animals in therapy wasn't initiated in the United States until 1942, when the American Red Cross set up a program to help rehabilitate emotinally and physically disabled airmen. Nowadays pets are more than something you feed or bathe. Pets have become more like a family member to many families all around the world, and if the pet is in pain the owner sometimes feels the agony, and just the opposite when your pet is happy and content barking or meowing the owner usually is in a better mood and state of being.

Speaking from experience I know I feel connected with my tropical fish FRIC and FRACK. I've had them for two years and I've become very attached. Alot of individuals discount that a person cannot be attached to a fish because they are sometimes eaten. I beg to differ and I love to come home from work and stare in amazement of my aquarium, to me its both a relaxing and soothing experience. So, having a pet can provide companionship and also can be a healthy therapeutic helper for you.