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senior outreach

Our Secondhand Hope program offers companion pet visits to Minnesota assisted living communities and other facilities.


Our goal is to provide both humans and animals with comfort, socialization and companionship. Volunteers bring their personal animals, including dogs (both large and small) and cats, to participate in the visits. Each animal and its handler receives guidance from Secondhand Hounds staff in order to make the experience both enjoyable and safe.

Numerous and varied scientific studies have proven that interaction with companion animals offer a wide range of benefits, both mental and physical. Some of these benefits include:

Physical Health:

  • Lowers blood pressure

  • Improves cardiovascular health

  • Releases endorphins (oxytocin) that have a calming effect

  • Diminishes overall physical pain

  • The act of petting produces an automatic relaxation response, reducing the amount of medication some folks need


Mental Health:

  • Lifts spirits and lessens depression

  • Decreases feelings of isolation and alienation

  • Encourages communication

  • Provides comfort

  • Increases socialization

  • Reduces boredom

  • Lowers anxiety

  • Reduces loneliness

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