Petting zoo brings smiles, socially-distant fun to Alleghany County long-term care facility

The Brian Center Alleghany got people outdoors while staying safe

LOW MOOR, Va. – Those living in long-term care facilities have no doubt suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a vulnerable population that continues to face isolation.

That's why one local facility is thinking outside the box to bring joy to its residents.

The Brian Center Alleghany welcomed a petting zoo as a way to get people outdoors while remaining socially distant.

“While everything has been focused around resident safety, we’ve tried to do as many things as possible to promote resident happiness. It’s been a very tough time for everybody,” said Nick Dent, Brian Center Administrator.

Brian Center resident Phyllis Sizemore said everyone really enjoyed their time with the animals and it lifted their spirits.

“Oh gosh, it was great,” said Sizemore. “Everybody enjoyed it. It seemed like it brought smiles on people’s faces.”

“When I do go to assisted living and nursing homes man, I get to hear so many good stories about when I grew up on grandma’s farm and it’s just totally awesome,” said Coy Shupe, owner of Little Critters Traveling Petting Zoo.

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