A Different Kind of Animal Therapy

The popular book and movie series which claimed so many fans is now taking on a new venture, where they’re helping a special group of individuals. You might recognize the names Hedwig and Errol, from the Harry Potter series, but those owls have yet to retire. Their new jobs these days involves taking trips to care homes and schools as a form of owl therapy in order to help children with physical and learning difficulties.

Although Hedwig is about to retire from outings next year, the others are still making the outings in order to help children with ADHD and Autism. Owls are trained at a young age, about three weeks old, in order to help support children with conditions like Autism and ADHD. Animal therapy is popular as a form of helping or assisting individuals with disabilities, and it’s shown to have a profound effect on them. Unlike other animals, however, owls seem to be a little more laid back because they don’t seek out attention, they just wait for it.

Owls like Hedwig and Errol currently reside at the Owl and Pussycat Center near Maud, Buchan-so it looks like it will be some time before they venture from Scotland, over to the United States. This is still an interesting take on animal therapy, and produces the same benefits as working with the typical animals like cats or dogs. The bonds they’re able to create with these owls allow the children to help build other bonds at home and in other areas of their lives.

The Center itself is a unique vision, built in a beautiful 30 acre historic wood and parkland environment. Families and groups are encouraged to visit the center, where they work with everyone in order to tailor the perfect visit. For the future the Owl and Pussycat Center is striving to create an interactive cat house for the therapy cats that acts as both a large enclosure and as suitable housing. The therapeutic environment will allow visitors to engage with the cats and will allow suitable access for any disabled clients.

Recently the Owl and Pussycat Center has introduced four new baby owls, who will soon be added to the forty other birds in residence.

Errol – a female Great Horned Owl, at the Owl and Pussycat Center
Hedwig from Harry Potter, at the Owl and Pussycat Center