Animals Healing Humans New Focus At Ag Progress Days

Animal lovers may instinctively know it, but many people may not realize the therapeutic value of our domesticated four-legged friends. Visitors who come to the Equine Exhibits Building at Penn State’s Ag Progress Days, Aug. 16-18, can learn more about how animals help humans heal.

Several activities at the event will illustrate how animals help people, Macrina noted. For example, psychologist and behaviorist Dr. Gesa Wellenstein will present a session on how she uses dogs and horses in her practice to treat psychological issues.

Service dogs act as guide dogs for the blind while others serve as health-detection dogs. They can sense cancer, low blood sugar and impending seizures in their owners.

Therapeutic riding provides an opportunity for those with disabilities to improve their physical and mental well-being through riding horses. Hands On Therapeutic Riding and the Capital Area Therapeutic Riding Assoc. will provide information on physical and psychological therapies. Miniature horses will greet visitors.

Sponsored by Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, Ag Progress Days is held at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, nine miles southwest of State College on Route 45. Hours are 9 a. m. to 5 p. m. on Aug. 16; 9 a. m. to 8 p. m. on Aug. 17; and 9 a. m. to 4 p. m. on Aug. 18. Admission and parking are free.

For more information, visit the Ag Progress Days website at