Animal Assisted Therapy

At BAAT we have specialised in working with challenging behaviour, special needs, ADHD, and autistic young people.

Qualified, Experienced and CRB checked staff.

Animals of sound character.

Wheelchair access to our facilities.

For some  people it is their first trusting, caring relationship.

BAAT donkeys are ‘working donkeys’ with a difference.  We are using donkeys to play a groundbreaking role in relatively new phenomena of Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT). Although our donkeys play a huge part in therapy sessions, we also work with dogs, cats, a tortoise, guinea pigs and a calf.

Research has shown that donkeys can form lifelong friendships and have the ability to experience emotions. Donkeys are smaller and less intimidating than some farm animals allowing someone with no animal experience to get close to them.  They are naturally calm animals, often choosing to stand static in a crisis while deciding what to do.


The rationale for their use of donkeys in AAT was initially was a chance encounter. Two farm donkeys needed extra care in their old age and were taken on by  Youth Worker Ann Slater. Through Ann’s work with young people it became apparent that something very special was happening between donkey and young person. Even the most hardened, resistant and angry young person seemed to calm and show affection to them.

After developing work in conjunction with the Devon Donkey Sanctuary a full programme of AAT is now in place.  Sessions are facilitated by an animal assisted therapist and of course the donkeys.

It possible to predict with some accuracy which donkey is going to approach which type of person. For example one donkey particularly homes in on loud or quick moving  people, while another always approaches shorter people first.  They really are very individual and unique in character.


AAT offers a whole range of benefits to a  person, these include:

  • Emotional Support
  • Increased self-esteem
  • A dependability of character- animals provide unconditional love
  • Feelings of security or safety
  • Touch, relaxation and health
  • Exercise, play and fun
  • Social facilitation
  • A sense of nurturing
  • Aesthetic pleasure.

If you wish to find out more about AAT and the work of BAAT please call or email info@animalassistedtherapywales.co.uk