Service animals comprise of those animals that have undergone training and assist their owners in overcoming limitations. Service animals are mostly owned by people with disabilities; such animals play a critical role in ensuring the individual overcomes the disability. Drawing from the outlined definition of service animals, it means that other animals that have not undergone training, whether wild or domesticated, do not constitute service animals. Thus, it is essential to observe the myriad services that accrue from service animals in order to establish their impacts on an individual. Service animals aid blind people or those with low vision in navigating; they alert deaf and those with hearing problems in case of any sounds, provide non-violent security to the owners, assist individuals during seizures, drag wheelchairs, and retrieve items for their owners such as cell phones or drugs. In addition, service animals provide assistance to people with mobility or stability issues. The articles utilized in this essay observe various benefits that an individual derives from owning a service animal.
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Thus, this essay examines the benefits that an individual who owns a service animal derives. The essay also provides an opinion regarding which author presented a stronger argument regarding the topic of discussion.
According to Kruger and Serpe, various benefits can be derived from service animals (23). The first benefit is the reduction of anxiety and arousal. Kruger and Serpe explain this benefit through examining the Biophilia Hypothesis, which explicates that there is a genetically based propensity in humans that make them attend to and be attracted to other living organisms. Thus, from that argument, we deem humans as having a quality of focussing on lifelike processes. This means that animals do provide some solace to the owners who have developed an attachment to them. More research on the topic by the authors reveals that humans have an increased chance of survival when they have an increased attention and knowledge of the environmental prompt. The authors also observe the learning theory, which tries to explain how animals aid in reduction of anxiety and aid in arousal. From this argument, we deduct that service animals play a significant role as they act as a buffer in situations where a patient has chances of developing anxiety such as unpleasant activities. For instance, Kruger and Serpe indicate that when a patient has to constantly visit a therapist, this might avail some feeling of anxiety, and when a service animal or pet is introduced, it can be instrumental in shifting the attention of the patient (24). Thus, service animals impact positively on an individual as they facilitate the diversion of anxiety-generating stimulus which a patient faces.
Another intrinsic benefit that derives from owning service animals concerns social mediation, as described by Kruger and Serpe (28). This benefit derives from the fact that the animal in question can act as a catalyst or mediator in social interactions. There is the notion of an expedite rapport formation that accrues from owning service animals. Evidence proves that this rapport formation has been possible across different populations ranging from children with physical disabilities, college students, the elderly, and typical dog owners. Kruger and Serpe observe that rapport formation and social interaction have been facilitated through the patients or the animal owners’ projection of their feelings, thoughts, motivations, conflicts or events on real or fictional animals. This is in reference to the psychoanalytic theory.
On the other hand, PAWS have also supported the idea that service animals have a positive impact on their owners socially (2). According to PAWS, service animals are essential depending on the human-animal bond. The organization points out that a good human-animal bond plays a significant role in developing the attachment between the two. According to PAWS, “service animals facilitate social interactions for the owners especially the blind who are sometimes avoided by other people” (3). In such scenarios, service animals play a crucial role of guiding their owners and sometimes also play with the owner. The organization points out that disable individuals usually get approached by strangers when they are accompanied by their pets or service animals.
PAWS also asserts that there is some psychological benefit that derives from owning a service animal (7). The organization points out that animals offer essential support to individuals such as those who are bereaved, the ill, and those that do not have homes. Service animals play an essential role in this context because they provide company and reduce depression and loneliness. Thus, PAWS avails a good example in reference to the abovestated point, which indicates that fewer symptoms of physical and psychological diseases were reported on recently widowed women who possessed service animals unlike those that did not own any animal.
In conclusion, Kruger and Serpe provided more string argument in reference to the topic of discussion. This is because they incorporated various theories associated with the subject matter, which provides a deeper understanding to the reader. For instance, Kruger and Serpe employed the Biophilia Hypothesis in explicating how service animals facilitate arousal and reduction of anxiety (23). On the other hand, the article by PAWS only avails plain arguments and does not reflect a deeper research regarding the topic of discussion. However, both articles ascertain the significance of service animals and point out several positive impacts they have on an individual, which include reduction of anxiety, formation of rapport, and other psychological benefits such as preventing depression and loneliness.