The Human-Animal Connection

Human-animal contact—and contact with all aspects of nature—can have a profound effect on people; these elements are an integral part of the Green Chimneys physical facilities and organizational identity.

Children can respond to animals in ways they often can’t to people. The human-animal contact helps bring out a nurturing instinct and learning to care for animals seems to develop a sense of responsibility and caring among children who may not have known that themselves.

What is the difference between Animal-Assisted Therapy and Activities?

  • Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) is a goal-directed intervention in which an animal that meets specific criteria is an integral part of the treatment process. AAT is directed and/or delivered by a health/human service professional with specialized expertise, and within the scope of practice of his/her profession.
  • Animal-Assisted Activities (AAA) provide opportunities for motivational, educational, recreational, and/or therapeutic benefits to enhance quality of life. AAA are delivered in a variety of environments by specially trained professionals, paraprofessionals, and/or volunteers, in association with animals that meet specific criteria.

Caring for Our Animal Partners

Animal welfare is at the core of the Green Chimneys mission and great lengths are taken to provide the utmost in nutrition, housing and veterinary care. The role of the farm animals, horses and other species at Green Chimneys is to live in a mutually beneficial relationship.

The animals of the Farm & Wildlife Center are valued partners and staff members ensure that animals benefit as much from the interactions as the children do. Resident animals are not objects to be used, but individuals to interact with in a respectful manner. Most importantly the students learn to become the caretakers of these animals and the shared environment.

Green Chimneys is a past recipient of the ASPCA’s prestigious Henry Bergh Award honoring commitment to the care and well-being of animals.

Green Chimneys is a member of the Farm Based Education Association (FBEA) and the International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations (IAHAIO), and holds an exhibitor license (C) for animals with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).