Monday, 10 March 2014

Pet ownership

Have you ever looked around your neighbourhood and noticed the number of people walking their dogs, or who own cats, or have birds or fish or guinea pigs or other pets. 
Can you think of the benefits of a pet in your life or your family's life?  What does the research tell us about pet ownership?
I was reading an old project report the other day from a project run in Tasmania many years ago, headed by Pam Parks.
In it, the project initially asked how many clients or consumers living in group homes or CRU's (Community Residential Units) owned pets? (Very few)
What were the reasons why clients/consumers did not own pets in these home environments?
 Interestingly, for many, it was the staff attitude and belief the clients did not have the skills or did not have the skills to learn to care for the animal?  Therefore, all the tasks would then be staff tasks to complete.
 In developing the project in partnership with a local animal rescue shelter some areas were identified for support and change. Once it was identified a client did want a pet...
1. Identify the task in the pet care and interaction the client could do;
2. Develop a task analysis of the task;
3. Develop visual supports for the client to begin to learn the steps in the task;
4. Provide support to the client to learn these steps with support from the staff;
4. Ensure symbols and language about pets was included in the persons communication systems.

Look around you. Has pet ownership in CRU's and group homes changed? why or why not?
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