Professor Frank Brechling holding a five-month-old pygmy goat (kid).

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On Oct. 11 the 50 residents, their family members and staff of the Mather Pavilion, 820 Foster Street, welcomed a menagerie of animals – including goats and their kids, sheep, a duck, a chicken and a rabbit. For more than 12 years Mather Pavilion has been involved in bringing “A Zoo to You” to residents. Mather Pavilion’s manager of activities and volunteer resources Mike Fehland coordinated this visit. He explained that it is part of PIESSO, “physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, social and occupational,” incorporated into the Mather Pavilion’s philosophy.

The residents who attended were invited into the 12 foot by 12 foot enclosure, but most greeted and held the animals where they were seated in the pavilion. The animals and residents appeared to enjoy the event.

Mr. Fehland talked about the growing field of animal-assisted therapy, which puts to good use the human-animal bond and the positive impact it can have  on people’s health. The Mather Pavilion hopes to help improve residents quality of life by giving those who love animals the chance to benefit from these interactions without the responsibility of pet ownership.