Pet Therapy

What is Pet Therapy ?

Pet Therapy is a type of therapy that stimulates the senses by touching the fur and having interaction with the animal.  In some cases, Pet Therapy is reminder of a happy time in the patient’s past.  Contact with a pet causes a beneficial calming effect on the patients.

Pets can be a comfort to older adults by being a companion to ease loneliness or the loss of a loved one, a friend to talk to, or something to look forward to with their visits.  Pets bring joy to the lives of their families and, with innovative therapy options like Pet Therapy, they are bringing comfort and calm to those in need.

At Haven Behavioral Hospital of Albuquerque, a special pet named Rosita is a comfort and help to patients.


Meet Rosita

ABQ Dianne and Rosita WHN Testing Day 28 Sep 2013This story begins July 14, 2010, in Albuquerque, when Rosita, a one-year-old Australian Red Heeler/Husky mix was adopted from the Animal Humane Association of New Mexico (AHANM).  As best we can piece together the story of Rosita’s young life, she came into the Torrance County Animal Shelter in Moriarty, NM around June 24, 2010, when a man in a pickup truck “found” her in an area of abandoned houses.  Apparently she had been on her own for some time, if not all of her young life.  After receiving her shots she was transferred to Albuquerque and AHANM where she was spayed and put up for adoption, and we “found” her.

Here is what we now know:  Rosita was in the early stages of pregnancy when she was spayed; had been hit by something, probably a car, resulting in a broken leg and pelvic area (this likely would have resulted in her death when she went to deliver the puppies) which although it had “healed” on its own was causing severe and painful arthritis in her hip (based on the advice of both her veterinarian and a surgeon, we had Rosita operated on to remove the head of her damaged femur (a procedure known as femoral head ostectomy (FHO), which is used in severe hip dysplasia); and had been shot (we counted at least 13 shotgun pellets when her hip was X-rayed during her “free” vet check).  There is probably much more to her story before meeting us but Rosita is staying mum on the subject.

Now Rosita is living the “good life”.  She loves walks (she will still run on three legs when she gets in a hurry), sun bathing (even in 90 degree plus New Mexico summer weather), going with us wherever that may be, playing with her doggie cousin Ajax, also a AHANM rescue and any kind of food that we eat or that she finds on the ground (leftover behavior from surviving on the streets – she has put on 6 pounds since she was adopted – a result of regular meals).  She especially enjoys coming to Haven Behavioral and sharing her story and visiting with the people.

Dianne Jones and Rosita are at Haven Behavioral Hospital of Albuquerque on Thursdays at 11 a.m. to provide pet therapy.


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5400 Gibson Blvd SE, Box 8
Albuquerque, NM 87108
main: 505-254-4500