Animals make us human.” – Animal scientist and activist Temple Grandin

5 Door Recovery uses animal-assisted therapy to enhance treatment and help residents reconnect with their own humanity.

Animal-assisted therapy is a growing field that uses dogs or other animals to help people recover from or better cope with health problems, including mental health disorders.

Research illustrates animal-assisted therapy lowers blood pressure, reduces anxiety and stress by lowering cortisol levels, a hormone associated with stress, and; increasing serotonin, a chemical associated with well-being.

It also helps release endorphins that manipulate perceptions of pain or stress. It can decrease feelings of isolation and increase communication. It improves focus and attention for better concentration and heightened social awareness.

Trained and certified therapy dogs are present during at least one group each week. Residents are not required to interact with the dogs, but may do so if they choose.