'Pets Together' Program Helps Seniors, Nurses and More Have Virtual Playdates With Cute Animals

© Animal Farm Foundation.  Animal Farm Foundation. https://ift.tt/3c3pSEY

By Morgan Smith, People

Animals — with their licks, cuddles, and silly antics — seem to make everything better.

We've seen the healing power of animals throughout the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as pet adoptions skyrocket, therapy animals bring joy to healthcare workers, and zoos throughout the country entertain us with live updates of their residents.

Now, people can enjoy free, virtual playdates with dogs, cats, horses, and more, thanks to a new program from the New York-based non-profit Animal Farm Foundation. "Pets Together," which launched last week, aims to comfort those who are at a higher risk of contracting the virus: people in long-term care facilities, like nursing homes and assisted living centers, as well as healthcare workers on the front lines of the pandemic.

© Provided by People   Animal Farm Foundation. Animal Farm Foundation.https://ift.tt/3c3pSEY

Pets Together uses live video-conferencing platforms (Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, etc.), to set up real-time visits where people can watch the animals and participate in friendly conversations with those who care for them.

"One of the many effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is social isolation and loneliness, which were already highly prevalent before the crisis," Stacey Coleman, executive director the foundation, said in a press release. "We designed Pets Together to adapt to these unprecedented circumstances by tapping into the power of pets to spread joy and bring people together."

Some of the animals available to chat include cows Muffin and Baby, dog and cat best friends Groot and Happy, and Marcus the horse.

See more at: People

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