Emotional Support Pets at Inclusion

Animals are so important to regulating and supporting our mental health and well-being.  Across Inclusion our sites have a number of emotional support animals that help learners, students and staff. 

We aim to provide a varied and comprehensive level of support to all of our learners – whatever their needs may be. 

We are always looking to develop our service and one area we know would bring added benefit to our young people is through Emotional support animals. 

At Inclusion we have our two emotional support dogs – Casper and Ferne.

We also have different pets – with rabbits, guinea pigs and even a tortoise at Inclusion College as well as a Hamster at Inclusion School with others on the way.

These pets are an amazing way to connect and support learners. They offer a comfort, friendship and connection without pressure or need to make conversation.

The unconditional love they provide allows our young people to connect on a different level and find reassurance.

If times feel overwhelming then our learners might take the dogs for a walk with our mental health support staff – allowing them space off site to explore and regulate emotions. 


They also help our students as they learn how to care for them – thinking of the different needs they might have.

Pets are invaluable to help support our young people’s  physical, emotional and cognitive needs.

Although this can be focussed in a variety of areas, it can include a number of areas are learners find challenging such as:

  • Self-esteem
  • Anxiety
  • Social understanding and interaction
  • Regulation strategies
  • Fine or gross motor-skills
  • Re-integration to education

These benefits are closely aligned to the work we do at Inclusion and we would love to have the opportunity to be able to bring this new skill to our toolkit. The animals are  making a huge difference, working with learners.

They’re all pretty cute too!

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