ANIMALS AS NATURAL THERAPY

Rating: 5 stars   7 reviews

Issues: Animals, Children & Youth, Human Services

Location: 721 Van Wyck Road Bellingham WA 98226 USA

Mission: Animals As Natural Therapy strengthens our community by developing healthy, resilient individuals through animal-assisted education and personal growth.
Programs: Animals as Natural Therapy offers week-long day camps in the summer (ages 8-15); Kidz Dayz (Saturday camps) in spring and fall (ages 3-8); Family Farm Days for families living in shelters, Headstart, and other groups; school and university internships, and community education. Also our youth and animal partners visit elders in extended care facilities. We offer year-round programs for youth with behavioral and psycho-social challenges both living at home and living in residential treatment facilities and in recovery programs.

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Volunteering at ANT is great. The alternative form of therapy provided through equine therapy appears to be a great outlet for those who aren't comfortable with traditional therapy settings. The people are kind, helpful, and hardworking. I wish more people could experience what it's like to work with ANT.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Watching my fellow veterans grow from seeing the fruit of their labor, as well as working with horses who were able to show them what they need to deal with in regard to their combat trauma.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase fundraising efforts!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have volunteered with ANT as much as my life allows since I was 14. When I started my parents had recently divorced and my mom suggested volunteering, which turned out to be the best choice for my life. ANT has been instrumental in helping me build the self-esteem and confidence necessary for becoming a healthy adult. Now I can give back by helping others relate to animals through mutual respect and care. It is amazing to see the transformation of participants at ANT from timid to confident, scared to courageous, and broken to healing. Everyone that goes to ANT is changed in the positive way that they needed thanks to the loving animals, volunteers and directors.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

...my life. I came from a dysfunctional family and was scarred, confused and timid. ANT taught me that I am worthy of love and capable of loving through my interactions with the amazing animals that live at the farm. I learned healthy interactions, mutual respect and how to stand up for myself, among many other positive lessons the animals and volunteers showed me.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give them more funding so the can help more people.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have worked with ANT by coordinating work experiences for area youth, who performed various tasks at ANT. Through this role over the past two years I have heard youth describe feeling empowered to embrace their past emotional scars as opportunities to share compassion and maturity, as volunteers and as clients. Sonja Wingard exudes kindness while providing structure and enlightening experiences; she and her staff gently guide clients through situations where they discover themselves as capable, contributing parts of interactions and our community. ANT has my highest recommendation as a place to heal wounds and celebrate one's unique gifts.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

...watching volunteers mature as they develop work maturity in a positive, structured environment. I have also talked with clients and their families about the life-changing epiphanies that occured as a direct result of their experiences at ANT.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

... hope to see more consistent funding for ANT so they can focus their time and energy on their program and community outreach.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been with ANT since September 2010, and I have had amazing experiences so far. The staff has been incredibly supportive and kind, and really values all the volunteering that I do. I can tell that Sonja (the executive director) and all of the other staff and board members care deeply and are passionate about what they are doing. Additionally, I have seen amazing transformations exhibited from the youth at ANT that I have volunteered with. ANT is an amazing organization, and the only thing that would make it better would be for the organization to move to a bigger farm so they can help even more children and families!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've experienced the results of this organization in so many different ways. I have seen the youth undergo great changes, and many of them learn trust, communication, and self-acceptance. Additionally, I, myself, have gained leadership skills and confidence as well.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find a way to provide them with even more funding so they can impact even more people!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

I had made a promise during my life that I would try to give back in some way for all the things that happened to me and for me.Recovery from some illness,recovery of a child from addiction,a career that was a perfect fit for me,finding such a great place like Bellingham to spend retirement years,to name a few.I more or less stumbled one day into ANT [Animals as natural therapy].I had tried other things but it wasn't quite the right fit. I was to stuff envelopes and help with mailings.I almost drove away when I arrived at ANT. It was a farm!. I thought I must have made a wrong turn but I thought I may as well go in. A very nice lady asked me to come back in a few days and then I met more nice people and some pretty nice animals.What followed was the start of a new career[I hope]helping kids and people in need.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have seen the change in kids as they learn with the help of the animals how to trust again. I see them regain self esteem and find comfort with the horses. I see them want to take them home. I've seen them move back into the main stream of life as happy kids again

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Try to find a way to help them improve and update the farm to be able to help more kids,vets and families

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Rating: 5 stars  

I am a colleague of Sonja Wingard, director of ANT and a volunteer. I know the tremendous value of this body of work and learning and feel that the human and animal family at ANT delivers programs with such integrity and compassion and professionalism that they deserve the highest possible recommendation. Their dedicated efforts change all lives they touch for the better in countless and lasting ways.
Long live ANT!
Constance Funk,
Woodylane Farm

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

being deeply moved by the countless true stories of healing and healthy empowerment where participants learn long term life skills

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

help to make it more well known and help find more adjacent land for the ANT family to expand

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Rating: 5 stars  

ANT has changed my life in so many ways! I see miracles happen here everyday!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my life.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

serve more kids.

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