|Lindsay Ellsworth, a doctoral candidate in animal sciences at WSU, and her dog, Mocha.|
PULLMAN, Wash. – Lindsay Ellsworth is prescribing a new, mood-boosting therapy for teenagers in drug and alcohol treatment: shelter dogs.
A method to the gladness
|A participant at Excelsior Youth Center in Spokane, Wash., gives treats to a shelter dog from the Spokane Humane Society.|
Those who spent time with the dogs not only showed an increase in joviality, but also positive affect (in psychology, the experience of feeling or emotion), attentiveness and serenity. Meanwhile, overall sadness decreased, Ellsworth said. Many participants are also being treated for ADHD, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.