Elanco Animal Health, a division of Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY), announces support of Pet Partners’ efforts to build on its therapy animal program and help facilitate international expansion. Pet Partners is a non-profit human services organization dedicated to improving human health and well-being through the human animal bond. The initiatives are being funded by a $100,000 grant through Elanco from the Lilly Foundation.
In the United States, Pet Partners has experienced a surge of interest in people registering to be therapy animal team handlers as part of its core therapy animal program. To assist with the increased interest, a portion of the grant will fund the registration of up to more than 500 new therapy animal teams through 2017. This will help increase much-needed services while ensuring the high standards Pet Partners requires of its teams.
“Our therapy animal program integrates the healing power of pets into everyday health and educational practice by bringing animals to people who could benefit from their presence in hospitals, nursing homes, libraries, schools and more,” said Annie Peters, president and CEO of Pet Partners. “We are grateful to Elanco and the Lilly Foundation for their generous support and to be a global partner in a cause that we both share.”
A National Institute of Health-funded investigation looked at more than 2,000 adults and found dog owners who regularly walked their dogs were more physically active and less likely to be obese than those who didn’t own or walk a dog.3Research studies have found that service dogs accompanying people in wheelchairs provide increased opportunities for social interaction, increased community integration, enhanced self-esteem and enhanced psychological well-being.1,2
The grant will also fund the expansion of Pet Partner services internationally by helping Pet Partners establish a pilot location, outside of the U.S. The pilot will help Pet Partners replicate a grassroots, community-based model of growth that has been so successful for those that benefit from Pet Partners’ services in the U.S.
“Elanco is purposeful in serving in the communities where our employees live and work. And we are all about celebrating the benefits that pets bring to our lives,” Jeff Simmons, senior vice president of Eli Lilly and Company and president of Elanco Animal Health. “We are excited to work with an organization that’s clearly aligned to our companionship cause and shares the vision of improving human health and well-being through therapy animal visits across the globe.”
Elanco provides comprehensive products and knowledge services to improve animal health and food-animal production in more than 70 countries around the world. We value innovation, both in scientific research and daily operations, and strive to cultivate a collaborative work environment for more than 6,500 employees worldwide. Together with our customers, we are committed to raising awareness about global food security, and celebrating and supporting the human-animal bond. Founded in 1954, Elanco is a division of Eli Lilly and Company. Elanco U.S., Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lilly, is the U.S. entity acquired as part of the Novartis acquisition. Our worldwide headquarters and research facilities are located in Greenfield, Indiana. Visit us at Elanco.com.
About Pet Partners
Pet Partners is the national leader in demonstrating and promoting animal-assisted therapy, activities and education. Nearly forty years since the organization’s inception, the science that proves these benefits has become indisputable. Today, Pet Partners is the nation’s largest and most prestigious nonprofit registering handlers of multiple species as volunteer teams providing animal-assisted interventions. For more information visit www.petpartners.org.
1Allen, K. 1996. The value of service dogs for people with severe ambulatory disabilities.
2Mader, B., L.A. Hart, and B. Bergin. 1989. Social acknowledgement for children with disabilities: Effects of service dogs. Child Dev. 60(6):1529–1534.
3News in Health. National Institute of Health, February 2009.