Garden Terrace residents now enjoying rabbit therapy
Home has adopted two rabbits that are having a positive impact
Two rabbits have found a home at Garden Terrace, where they now play leading roles in a new pet therapy program.
The rabbits – named Thunder and Coco – came to Garden Terrace from a farm owned by the family of Christine Ritchie, the home’s director of care.
The Garden Terrace team got the idea to adopt the rabbits after learning their sister home in Kanata, Forest Hill, welcomed three guinea pigs in March.
“They have guinea pigs, so we thought we would get some bunnies,” says Garden Terrace life enrichment co-ordinator Rachael King.
Garden Terrace residents had their first rabbit therapy session on June 9. Rachael says the program went well and that being around the small animals brought back fond memories for many.
“The residents really, really enjoyed it,” she says. “Some had bunnies and other animals growing up, and even if they didn’t, a lot of them are animal lovers in general.”
Rachael says having pets living at the home fills an important emotional need for residents.
When residents were engaging with the rabbits, “you could see the compassion and the care and the happiness light up in their eyes because they get to be with an animal again.”
One of the big questions residents were asking was, “when do we have to give them back?” Rachael says.
“It was exciting for them to realize that they have their own animals in the home now.”
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