Shepherd Farms Petting Zoo allows visitors an opportunity to interact and handle various types of friendly non-threatening animals through a guided hands-on educational program. Our petting zoo is offered by appointments only.
Contact with animals has been proven to be calming, therapeutic and can reduce stress. Research has shown that playing with or petting animals can increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease levels of the stress-inducing hormone cortisol. The hands-on activities and guided tour encourage communication and model a variety of life skills such as: socialization and bonding with others which requires trust. Although animals seem to break down walls faster with children.
If an animal is friendly and not intimidating, then trust is often easily developed. This type of interaction is also known as animal-assisted therapy. Using animals as the go-between assists children with autism or those who struggle with attachment or trust to experience social engagement in a less threatening way. This animal-child interaction is easier for children with autism than the more complex human interaction, enabling the child to communicate better and to be able to take part in everyday activities more fully.
Those who are interested please contact us for a visit, appointment only.