190823 dog pets
'My Pet Therapist' programme, launched by Abu Dhabi Police, cites research which shows that caring for pets helps people with mental and behavioural issues, anxiety, and depression. Image Credit: Pixabay

Abu Dhabi: Time spent with animals helps you de-stress, boosts your mood and lifts you up. That’s the idea behind a fresh initiative, called “My Pet Therapist”, introduced here recently to help young people with anxiety, depression, and other mental and behavioural disorders — by taking care of pets.

Officials at the Juvenile Welfare Department, under the Community Security Sector of the Abu Dhabi Police General Command, has introduced the programme citing research which shows that caring for pets helps people with mental and behavioural issues, anxiety, and depression.


Brig. Gen. Ahmed Masoud Al Mazrouei, Director of the Community Security Sector, said that the project was introduced after careful study.


It is being implemented with the participation of the K9 Security Inspection Department in the Special Tasks Sector, and enhances the strategic priorities of the Abu Dhabi Police.

This helps in the rehabilitation of inmates and their aftercare, the official said,

The initiative also forms part of the force’s keenness to take proactive approach and provide quality services to all segments of society by optimising modern technologies and adopting creative ideas to achieve excellence in the juvenile delinquent rehabilitation system.

Col. Bahian Hamad Al Ameri, Director of the Juvenile Welfare Department, said: “Abu Dhabi Police always seeks to apply international best practices within the treatment plans that are developed for juveniles.”


Col. Al Ameri cited research which show that taking care of pets enhances the psychological well-being of people, including juveniles who suffer from some mental and behavioural disorders.

The project contributes to strengthening the juvenile rehabilitation system under Abu Dhabi Police in line with leading international standards and practices and the use of advanced therapies in this field.

The power of pets
Research published by the US National Institutes of Health has shown that spending time with animals lowers blood pressure and reduces levels of the hormone cortisol, which is associated to stress.

Animals can improve your mood, lessen loneliness, and increase feelings of social support, according to other studies.