Skip to content ↓

Animals at St Luke's

St Luke's are one of the few SEN schools that incorporate animal assisted therapy into their curriculum.

What Is Animal Assisted Therapy?

Animal-assisted therapy can improve young people's mental, physical, social and emotional functioning. Depending on the needs of the child many different animals can be used in therapy, including horses (also called equine-assisted therapy), dogs (also called canine-assisted therapy), guinea pigs, rabbits and reptiles to name but a few.

It is more than simply spending time with an animal, animal-assisted therapy involves specific therapeutic goals, strategies and outcomes measures. Therapeutic experiences can include walking, brushing, petting and caring for an animal, as well as processing the experience of trying to achieve a given task.

What are the benefits of animal assisted therapy ?

There is a strong bond between animals and people. Animals are accepting, non-threatening and non-judgmental, making it easier for people to open up. Some benefits of animal-assisted therapy include:

  • Improved fine motor skills
  • Improved balance
  • Increased focus and attention
  • Increased self-esteem and ability to care for oneself
  • Reduced anxiety, grief and isolation
  • Reduced blood pressure, depression, and risk of heart attack or stroke
  • Improved willingness to be involved in a therapeutic program or group activity
  • Increased trust, empathy and teamwork
  • Greater self-control
  • Enhanced problem-solving skills
  • Reduced need for medication
  • Improved social skills

Because many children and teens enjoy working with animals, animal-assisted therapy can be particularly beneficial for individuals who have difficulty accessing their emotions or expressing themselves in talk therapy.

The Team

Mr Matt Colley - Animal Care Manager 

Miss Melanie Crawford - Animal Care Assistant 



Meet some of our animals

Maple (the Lion)

Edward & Issac our Donkeys

Joe the Parrot

Lucy the Goat

Hamm the Pig

Mufassa, Peppermint, Polo & Flump the Rabbits

Banana the chicken

Lissa the Corn Snake

Aero the Budgie