Rescue Them, Rescue Yourself: The Many Health Benefits of Animal Rescue

Each year, thousands of pets can be found in animal shelters across the country. With the help of your daughter, Greenbrier Academy continues to make a significant dent in that number. Our boarding school offers a canine rescue program, a tangible practice of altruism and a lifesaving gift for pets that have been abandoned by their previous owners and deserve placement in a new forever home.

Animal rescue helps these animals find homes where they can receive the love they need to thrive. Just as importantly, this canine rescue program can help your daughter in many ways. Throughout the program, dogs from local shelters are taken in, where your daughter will help groom, train, feed and prepare them for a new home. Playing with the dogs often brings back positive memories of past relational experiences with other pets.

In addition to helping the pets, your daughter may also experience many physical and mental health benefits from animal rescue, including the following.

Reduced Stress

Pet ownership and rescue has been shown through various studies to lower stress levels and keep us calm. One American Heart Association study analyzed the cardiovascular responses (blood pressure and heart rate) of individuals in high-stress jobs and environments and the effects of those responses with the addition of pet ownership. Many of the individuals were in addiction recovery or going through difficult times in their lives. The study showed that having a pet around significantly reduced the physiological response of the body to stress. Even individuals with high blood pressure had lower blood pressures and heart rates.

Improved Lifespan

According to News in Health, several studies of man’s best friend have shown that walking dogs increases the chances of developing relationships with others. Others are more likely to talk to you and start up a conversation if you’re walking a dog, compared to if you’re walking by yourself. Research shows that developing quality, healthy relationships with others not only reduces depression but can also help you live longer.

Increased Concentration

In today’s society, your daughter may find it difficult to focus on one task at a time. She may have even been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. According to the same AHA study above that analyzed cardiovascular responses to stress and the effects of having pets, taking care of a dog can help with this problem as well. Those who took care of pets, according to the study, were much more capable of performing tasks correctly than those who did not. Taking care of a pet can actually increase your daughter’s ability to concentrate.

Better Overall Physical and Mental Health

Dogs make it almost impossible to sit still for long. They want to play. They need to run. They want to go for a walk. Because of this, your daughter will find it difficult to sit still as well. With increased exercise comes many health benefits, including weight loss, lower stress levels and lower risk of diseases like diabetes and heart disease. In addition, the CDC also states that pets can help decrease triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels.

Saving a Life With Canine Rescue

Many of the students who come to Greenbrier feel lost, helpless or even worthless. Canine rescue can help turn these feelings around by providing your daughter with a chance to save the life of a pet. This transformative experience can help reduce feelings of loneliness, provide your daughter with a purpose, increase self-esteem and help better her relationships with others.

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