Animal Encounters

In addition to horses, The Xena Project facilitates interaction with dogs, cats, goats, and two very handsome llamas.

Animals bring joy, enhance feelings of calm, and often inspire.  Studies document that holding and caressing an animal provides benefits such as relaxation, lower blood pressure, improved long- and short-term memory, and sensory stimuli.  Veterans often report feeling more relaxed that they ever have after interacting with the animals who live here; some use interaction with animals to help them off anxiety or sleep medications.  In addition to an independent offering, Animal Encounters are a vital component of all other programs, including Veteran Group Days, Veteran Private Sessions, and Family Reunification.

The current animal team remains here at the facility.  As our funding base grows, we will develop our ability to take animals off-site for visits to veterans in hospitals, in-resident mental health treatment programs, and at special events for veterans.  (What’s it going to take?  A vehicle, trailer, and maintenance and fuel funds – please contact us if you or your business would like to support the expansion of this program.)

Enjoy these photos of our animal team – they look forward to meeting you!

Want to be a part of Animal Encounters?  Services are offered as funding is available; click here to donate today and benefit of this program.  Thank you for your support.

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