Anyone who has ever had a pet knows that animals make everything better. They are pure joy and love, and you can never be upset when you’ve got an animal by your side. Whether it’s a cat, a dog, a rabbit, a goat, etc., animals can always turn your frown upside down. And throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen the healing power of animals in various ways – from therapy animals visiting healthcare workers or socially distant visits to nursing homes, to zoos providing hours of virtual entertainment with the help of their residents, to regular shelter pets bringing loads of love and joy through adoptions and fostering, animals are helping to keep us all sane during this crisis in whatever way they can.
And now there is a new virtual playdate platform that is being launched through the New York-based non-profit, Animal Farm Foundation. Their “Pets Together” was launched recently in order to bring comfort and joy to those people facing a higher risk of infection – those in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes and assisted living centers. In addition, healthcare workers on the front lines are also included.
“Pets Together” employs live video-conferencing platforms, such as Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, etc., in order to create real-time virtual visits that allow people to interact with the animals by talking to them and watching them be their adorable selves.
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Stacey Coleman, executive director of the foundation, said, “One of the many effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is social isolation and loneliness, which were already highly prevalent before the crisis. 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 who are featured in the chats are two cows called Muffin and Baby, dog and cat duo Groot and Happy, as well as a horse named Marcus.
In order to schedule the virtual meet-ups with the animals, you can schedule them through the Pets Together website.
Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.