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Wellhaven column: Pets provide more than smiles

Wellhaven resident Melba Hanson is all smiles as she pets therapy horse Maggie. Submitted photo

A huge smile came across Wellhaven tenant Melba Hanson's face as she began to pet Maggie,

a therapy horse.

As Maggie couldn't come inside Wellhaven, several tenants made their way outside to meet and greet the horse.

"Numerous tenants were able to stand to pet Maggie," said Wellhaven Activities Coordinator & Marketing Assistant Laura Swanson. "For some of our tenants in wheelchairs, Maggie put her nose down to be close to them. She was very relaxed and provided a comforting presence to our tenants."

Similar calming effects have been shown from owning pets. Wellhaven tenants are allowed to have a small pet. In the past, tenants have owned small dogs, cats and a few birds. When family members come to visit, they often bring a furry friend to visit for a few hours.

"Pets provide an unconditional love and joy to our tenants. You can see their eyes sparkle

when they are with their pet and when chatting about their pet," said Wellhaven personal care team member Jami Lorenz.

Wellhaven is always looking for different therapy pet options for our tenants. If you have a therapy pet and would be interested in sharing it with Wellhaven tenants, contact Laura at

715-426-4633 or

Wellhaven will be hosting a Raptor Center Presentation at 2 p.m. Oct. 8. This event is free to all.