Dogs and A Llama?! How They're Bringing Joy To Nursing Home Patients Who Could Use Some

See the smiles as these animals bring comfort, and something to look forward to!

For many people who live in nursing homes, the coronavirus pandemic has made life pretty lonely. Family and friends can't visit, so interacting with loved ones is no longer something to look forward to.

That's why folks at a nursing home group in North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida are going out of their way to bring joy and hope to patients, using something that everyone loves: animals!

Folks at USA Rescue team brought rescue animals to visit nursing home residents, even those who couldn't interact in person.PruittHealth/Facebook

Recently dogs with the USA Rescue Team visited PruittHealth-Lakehaven in Valdosta, GA as part of the rescue team's Senior Paws for Senior Cause program.

"There are several out here that can't really communicate but they can love on an animal and so it kind of calms them down and it kind of brings them a little inner peace," PruittHealth Hospice volunteer coordinator Dede Waddell told the Valdosta Daily Times. "It's like a pet therapy."

Patients in hospice got comfort from the visit.PruittHealth/Facebook

The dogs interacted with patients in the nursing home halls, and peered through windows to "visit" those who are bed-ridden and can't have outside visitors.

Sara Crum, who coordinated the event from Senior Paws says the visit also benefited the dogs, whom of which have been rescued from puppy mills. "It gets some of ours that aren't ready for adoption yet able to go and get some exposure," Crum said.

Residents at PruittHealth-Barnwell in Barnwell, SC got an even "wilder" animal visit when folks from nearby Eudora Farms brought animals from their "Safari" petting zoo by for a special meet-and-greet with residents.

Residents enjoyed interacting with and feeding the Safari animals.PruittHealth/Facebook

The Augusta Chronicle reports that the farm brought Tanya the mini zebu, Wrangler the mini horse, Wanda the llama, and Franklin the camel from the petting zoo to meet the patients, who got to pet and feed them.

"It was a complete joy to see all of them and really added to our day," resident Myrtle Meyer told the Chronicle.

The safari visit was a great opportunity for residents to get outside in the fresh air.PruittHealth/Facebook

Eudora Farms has been taking their safari experience to nursing homes a few days a week during the pandemic, to bring some joy to people who could really use some.

"We love giving back to the community, especially in these unprecedented times. Being able to make the residents happy and providing an amazing experience was an enjoyable way to spend our afternoon," said Gregory Steadman of Eudora Farms.

Thumbs up to USA Rescue Team and Eudora Farms for bringing smiles to people who are especially isolated during this pandemic!

How can you start something good?

The USA Rescue Team pays out of pocket for the visits by their dogs to nursing homes. Your donations of money, or if you live in the area, gifts of dog beds and food, can help the events continue.

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