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Does interacting with animals improve your mental health? Rebecca and Ian go on a quest to find out. We hear from a nursing student whose Yorkshire Terrier helps prevent panic attacks. We weigh the mental health benefits of pet ownership with Anthrozoology Professor Hal Herzog. And we talk to a man given a prescription for an emotional support goat.

Featured Experts

 

Professor Hal Herzog

Hal is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Western Carolina University. He studies and writes about anthrozoology, or the complex psychology of the relationships between humans and other species. Learn more about his work at halherzog.com.

Dr. Aubrey Fine

Dr. Fine is a professor of psychology at California State Polytechnic University. He is a licensed psychologist who opened his practice in Southern California in 1987. Learn more about Dr. Fine's work with therapy animals at aubreyhfine.com.

 

Emotional Support animal Videos

Emotional support animals can be literally ANY KIND OF ANIMAL, which leads to some pretty hilarious photos/videos when they accompany their humans on planes.

Matilda the Yorkie

In this episode, we meet @Matilda_the_yorkie, nursing student Eva Kerman's very fashionable emotional support animal. Below are some photos of Matilda, or "Tilly," just generally being her fabulous self.

@matilda_the_yorkie
@matilda_the_yorkie
@matilda_the_yorkie

Duckie the Goat

Read Brian Polcyn's full story about "gaming the system" with Duckie the Goat.

 Brian and Duckie at the movies.

Brian and Duckie at the movies.