The latest therapy animal to grace the halls at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, is a miniature horse named Munchkin.
While minis as therapy animals aren’t as common in hospitals and senior homes as dogs are, they bring a lot of smiles when they enter a room. And according to a rep at the Mayo Clinic, who spoke to MPR News, the addition of a horse enables the animal handlers to reach more patients.
“There are instances where people might be afraid of dogs or are allergic to dogs,” Whitney Romine, Mayo’s animal assistance services coordinator, told the media outlet. “So adding an additional species increases our options that we can offer to patients.”
The two-feet tall Munchkin is a hit with staff and patients alike. The gorgeous grey coat and silky white mane and tail can’t hurt his appeal, either.
Amanda Peters is his handler and she explained that Munchkin is house-trained, which makes bringing him indoors a no-brainer. Plus his mom was also a therapy horse.
For his part, Munchkin seems to enjoy being the centre of attention wherever he goes. Watch a video of him at work here: