Inspirational Pets of South Texas is a non-profit Animal Assisted Therapy/Activities (AAT/AAA) volunteer program within the community. Rick Castro, founder of Inspirational Pets of South Texas, started visiting in July of 2012 with his two certified therapy dogs, being that there were many people suffering and in need of love from therapy dogs in the Rio Grande Valley. After researching several animal therapy programs within the nation and experiencing several visits, we understand that animal therapy greatly benefits patients and their families alike to foster spiritual, emotional, and physical healing.

What is the difference between a visitation program and AAT?
A visitation program occurs when animals accompany their owners to a facility and visit patients or residents. An animal assisted therapy program occurs when animals are utilized by therapists during goal directed treatment sessions as a modality, to facilitate optimal patient outcomes.

Where does Inspirational Pets of South Texas serve?
We currently provide visits at rehabilitation centers, hospice, nursing homes, hospitals, and children’s advocacy centers within the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas.

What are the Benefits of AAT/AAA?
Research has proven the following benefits for participants of AAT/AAA:

Improved motivation and sense of well-being
Reduced anxiety, loneliness, and stress
Improved morale for patients, family, and staff
Better participation in therapeutic treatment
Improved communication and social skills
Improved fine motor skills, mobility, and balance
Reduced blood pressure and heart rates