KATC Pet Corner

Sep 12, 2013 10:04 AM by Elizabeth Hill

Pet therapy helps kids and families battling illness

You're eyes are not deceiving you. That's a horse in a hospital.

Her name is Peppermint Patty and yes, her shoes are bedazzled. The miniature horse and dog Winston are part of pets for health. A non-profit volunteer group providing animals for therapy.

"It helps reduce the children's stress, it helps with pain management, it's a good break for the kids, it's a great motivator for children."

"Whenever they brought in something completely different it definitely just changed the whole atmosphere and the mood of everybody too."

When Kells Castille's daughter Sloan was going through chemotherapy to treat a form of leukemia, a visit from Peppermint Patty was just what the doctor ordered.

"She loves animals, especially horses, so whenever she saw the horse for the first time she was in complete shock, she was so excited."

These special animals not only bring a smile to children and their families, but also the hospital staff.

"They all have that temperament that they enjoy strangers and they're not shy and not afraid of anything."

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