Making A Difference: Animals bring joy to residents of Anderson Co. nursing home

Dogs, chickens, and a goat improve residents' quality of life
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Posted at 6:35 PM, Jul 03, 2019

ANDERSON COUNTY (LEX 18) — Signature Healthcare in Lawrenceburg has opened its doors to a variety of animals, and the effect it's having on the residents is hard to ignore.

It started about a year ago when a little terrier-mix named Chip walked into their lives. The facility's administrator, Lauren Sword-Huynh, said that Chip will do his rounds and go check up on the residents.

After seeing the effect he had on everyone, their animal family started to grow. Chip was joined by a beagle-mix named Harvey, and the resident chickens, Thelma and Louise. Villy the goat is also there and Sword-Huynh says they sometimes have a pony.

The love and healing that the animals bring has been something Sword-Huynh has seen play a vital role in their resident's quality of life. At times, down to their very last day.

"Chip will make a point to go to those people, give them a little extra love and attention, and I think it helps them pass a little bit easier," she said.

She admits, their makeshift zoo is a bit unconventional and it comes with a unique sets of trials and challenges, but she says that the difference the animals make makes it all worthwhile.

"Somebody that has went through some true life challenges, to have an animal that unconditionally loves them is an amazing thing to witness and to be a part of,"said Sword-Huynh.