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Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley in Littleton, Massachusetts, has some new staff members and wants the public to meet them.

 

They have never worked in a rehabilitation facility before, and they wouldn’t know a herniated disc from a hyena.

 

But they are really good at pet therapy.

 

Meet the miniature horses. Molly and Whiskers recently joined the skilled nursing and rehab facility’s assortment of animals. They live in a large paddock with two llama buddies, Travis and Vijay, and patients have easy access to visiting the minis from the outdoor rehabilitation walking track that surrounds the paddock.

 

“The track sees a lot of activities with our rehab patients, who are recovering from orthopedic surgeries, strokes and deconditioning hospital stays,” said Eirinn Campaniello, admissions assistant. “Our patients can get a breath of fresh air, check out the animals – all while they are taking steps to recover from an illness and stretching toward returning home.”

 

“They make my heart sing and give me a reason to smile,” said one patient.

 

The menagerie is rounded out by three chickens, whose coop is visible from the Memory Support Unit, where even residents with short attention spans can watch their antics.