Petting dogs and cats can scientifically reduce stress. It’s one of the reasons we feel such immense comfort when we pet, hug, and cuddle our pets. But given the current situation going on in the world, we need to keep our distance from each other. This means therapy animals that may have been able to provide comfort by letting people pat them on the head might have to help out a little differently. Animal Rescue League of Berks County found a way to comfort people while still properly following social distancing guidelines.

Staff and volunteers from the Animal Rescue League took dogs and cats to show to the residents at the Amity Place senior living home. The senior citizens who live there cannot even be visited by family members due to the pandemic. Only healthcare professionals are allowed in the building.

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Vice president of development for the Animal Rescue League, Ashley Mikulsky said it broke her heart when she heard about the senior residents being confined to their rooms all alone. Therefore, 15 volunteers went to the outside of the nursing home with seven dogs and some cats. Residents went to their windows and waved and greeted the animals. They stayed outside and showed the animals through the windows.

Executive director of the Animal Rescue League, Alexis Pagoulatos said: “It’s really lovely to bring joy to people’s lives with animals, especially in times like this where people feel isolated everywhere. Just sprinkling a little happiness in difficult time for everyone.” The care services manager of the nursing home agrees: “It was a joy to see the smiles on the residents’ faces. This was awesome for them. This was a fantastic day. Some of them, I haven’t seen smiles like that in a long time.”

What a sweet way to bring some joy to the seniors who are all alone during this scary time. For more amazing stories like this, check out:

Animal shelters may be doing kind deeds for others right now, but they are also in need of help. Sign this petition to pledge to help an animal shelter by fostering, adopting, or donating!

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