Animal-Assisted Programming

Animal-assisted programming is used by Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation clinicians as an adjunct to individually tailored, evidence-based treatment practices in order to maximize the benefits of rehab.

Research shows that including therapy dogs in addiction rehab programs can benefit patients in several ways, including:

  • strengthen and improve rapport between patient and counselor
  • enhance the treatment experience
  • reduce anxiety and distress
  • increase the likelihood for successful treatment outcomes**

Therapy animals provide a comforting presence and a reassuring sense of security and support, especially for patients who struggle with grief, anxiety or depression issues.

As clinically appropriate for patients, our trained therapy dogs can be involved in several different aspects of rehab, including:

  • small group sessions
  • private therapy sessions
  • group lectures
  • special-focus groups (grief, meditation)
  • wellness activities (yoga class)

Trained therapy dogs work at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation addiction treatment campuses in Rancho Mirage, California, Plymouth, Minnesota and Newberg, Oregon

To learn more about animal-assisted programming and how it can benefit you or a loved one seeking addiction treatment, call: 1-866-831-5700

*"Animal Assisted Therapy for Substance Use Disorders," Research Update, July 2016, Butler Center for Research, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.

Animal-Assisted Programming

At the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, we're always looking at evidence-based practices and new treatment modalities to bring world-class addiction treatment to our patients and their families. At our Plymouth, Minn., facility for adolescents and young adults ages 12-25, we have introduced Willow, a certified therapy dog. Meet Willow, an Australian Labradoodle, who has a mellow temper and is an intelligent service dog who doesn't shed and is more hypoallergenic than most dogs. Willow helps reduce anxiety in patients with addiction and gives them a sense of safety and security.

Your gift helps support the ongoing health and wellness of Nala, Hazelden in Springbrook's certified facility dog.