People Animals Love,
People Animals Love (PAL) was established in 1992 by Dr. Earl Strimple and Reverend William Wendt, both of whom realized that animals can be effective vehicles for addressing many human needs. In particular, the needs of those who are marginalized in U.S. society because of health, age, or prison status require special attention.
PAL consists of four programs, only one of which—PAL and Prisons— will be addressed in detail in this case study. In the Pet Visiting Program, volunteers and their pets (dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and birds) visit elderly residents in nursing homes and sick children in hospitals on a monthly basis. In the Farm-on-the-MOOve program, farms animals such as cows, ducks, turkeys, goats, rabbits, llamas, and pigs, among others, are transported to school playgrounds for gatherings with children. Teachers are given educational materials to use before and after each visit. In the PAL Camp and Clubs, children are provided with an opportunity to learn more about animals from a scientific and personal perspective. Under the guidance of a mentor, children learn new skills, unconditional love, and a sense of belonging and responsibility during the summer (camp) and during the school year (clubs). The last program, PAL and Prisons, is described in this chapter. These four programs target different audiences yet share a common basis—namely, the importance of using animals to help foster bonds of caring and acquisition of new knowledge and skills and to facilitate the rehabilitation process in cases where that is needed.