Animal Therapy

Anam Cara Farm

Horse barn and a sheep

Aram Cara is a farm in the Langley area that is dedicated to the wellness of animals and people. One of the programs they have is animal therapy for people. I have visited this farm before and loved their philosophy of how they treat the non-human animals on the farm as sentient beings.

One day during this past summer, I was able to participate as a volunteer for a children’s camp. The children were all in hospice care, and they were to spend a day at the farm participating in the different activities involving the different animals at the farm. The animals were not forced to do anything if they were not comfortable.

During the horse-brushing activities, if the horse showed any sign of discomfort, such as moving back to distance itself from the child who was brushing them, the supervisors would explain to the children how to brush in areas that were less sensitive and that the horses liked to be brushed in. To get into the sheep pen (it is a large area), the children were asked to carry an egg on a spoon; this was a clever way to calm the children and to avoid having them make any sudden moves which may make the sheep nervous or surprised.

Through these activities, the children seemed to start understanding better that these animals have feelings like us and that if we pay attention to the animals, we can start to understand them better. I too appreciated seeing how each activity was designed for the humans to be able to communicate better with the non-human animals rather than vice-versa.

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