Volunteer program looks to use pets to brighten seniors’ spirits

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Pets can offer companionship and may help calm stressPet owners know the love and companionship a furry friend can bring, which is why some are spreading the joy by participating in a pet therapy program to help brighten other people’s day.

The Rehabilitation Center of Bakersfield, California, recently hosted more than a dozen dogs and their owners in hopes of boosting morale in the facility. The Pet Therapy program is sponsored by the Bakersfield SPCA program, in which volunteers travel to various senior centers to spread the love of their pets, according to Bakersfield.com.

For some senior citizens, these visits may be a friendly encounter that they unfortunately don’t get to experience too often, as they may not have any family members living in the area.

Chuck Nordstrom, the Bakersfield SPCA community development director, explains that many senior citizens respond well the to the visits, as it may elicit happy memories.

"People absolutely love it," Nordstrom told the news provider. "During the visits, a lot of them talk about the pets they had."

The animals may love the visits too. The participants can offer additional pet care by providing attention and playing with the animals.ADNFCR-2720-ID-19534771-ADNFCR

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