These animals are changing therapy as we know it

Unusual Therapy Animals

There's nothing like some good puppy lovin', so it's only natural that dogs are used in therapeutic facilities as "therapy animals," but recently, other animals are being used for therapy, too. Believe it or not, these llamas, parrots, snakes, iguanas and miniature ponies aren't the only interesting therapy animals out there.

A Florida nursing home uses a therapy tortoise named Shelly to cheer people up at the Chautauqua Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. While the tortoise is a unique therapy animal, it isn't the only marine species that's used for therapeutic reasons. In the Ukraine, wounded soldiers undergo therapeutic sessions in the water with dolphins.

While marine species have proven to be popular with therapy, farm animals have made their way into the world of animal therapy, too. One man in Minnesota who suffered from skull and back fractures has a pig named Carol as his therapy animal, but unfortunately, the city of Billings, Minnesota is trying to evict the pig because of previously stated ordinances. Using pigs as therapy animals isn't uncommon, though. A Florida family also uses potbellied pigs as therapy animals.

Wildly, kangaroos were used for therapy in Wisconsin until the Beaver Dam Common Council passed an amendment that stated that kangaroos are not allowed to be used for service or therapy. The woman who was using the baby kangaroo for therapeutic purposes made it clear that the animal was authorized by a doctor, but it quickly became clear that therapy animals and service animals serve very different roles.

What's the most interesting therapy animal you've ever heard of? Let us know in the comments below!

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