Cornell Companions - Mission and Goals

Cornell Companions - Mission and Goals

Mission Statement

 Cornell Companions is an animal-assisted activities and animal-assisted therapy program program. We strive to educate our volunteers on the beneficial effects of the human-animal bond, and to foster positive relationships between people and animals.

Program Goals

  • Service: To provide the beneficial and therapeutic effects of animal assisted activities and animal assisted therapy with the individuals visited, and enhance their quality of life. Volunteers participating in Cornell Companions also benefit by realizing the value of both the role of animals in improving human health and well-being and community service.
  • Partnership: To strengthen ties between the University and local organizations, and to serve as a model of mutually beneficial partnerships between individuals, organizations, and institutions. Cornell Companions seeks to cooperate with others in the health professions to meet fundamental human needs, while increasing the visibility of veterinarians and animals in the larger community.
  • Education: To enhance the education of veterinary students as developing professionals by providing hands-on experience with the human-animal bond, and exposure to cultural and socioeconomic issues within the broader community. Participation in this program allows students to deepen their understanding of human and animal health, practice their developing communication skills and develop cultural competence as they prepare to serve future patients and clients.

Most of our visits are pet visitations, but some are animal assisted therapy visits.

What is animal-assisted therapy and animal-assisted activities?

Animal-assisted therapy is a goal-oriented, planned, structured, and documented therapeutic intervention directed by health and human service providers as part of their profession. Animal-assisted therapy can significantly reduce pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue in people with a range of health problems

Animal-assisted activities is the use of animals in recreational and visitation programs to help people with special needs – include a wide range of interventions.

What is the Human Animal Bond?

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) defines the Human-Animal Bond as "a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that is influenced by behaviors that are essential to the health and well-being of both.” March 25, 2018