Gun­ther Vil­lage gets goats

No kid­ding with an­i­mal therapy

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Felic­ity Rip­per Felic­ity.Rip­per@cnbtimes.com.au

THE tran­si­tion into an aged care home is a chal­lenge for any­one.

For Harold Tones, who has lived his whole life with open fields and dozens of friendly goats, the move meant giv­ing up his life­style of furry friends and free­dom... or so he thought.

On Mon­day, Gayndah’s Gun­ther Vil­lage got two new res­i­dents, Roco and Ju­lia, the goats.

“We brought them in to help Harold set­tle in,” owner of Jabez Goat Farm Sandy Mo­er­land said.

Life­style co­or­di­na­tor Jenny Thomp­son con­tacted Mrs Mo­er­land about ac­quir­ing some com­pan­ion goats, and the fel­low goat fa­natic was happy to do­nate to the cause.

“We looked at bring­ing in Harold’s own goats but it was go­ing to be too hard to sep­a­rate them from their large herd,” Mrs Thomp­son said.

“Our Fa­cil­ity man­ager, Vicki Boyd said ‘well, let’s find some goats that Harold can look af­ter’.”

Roco and Ju­lia were bot­tle-fed af­ter be­ing re­jected by their mother, and are used to hav­ing just each other’s com­pany.

In ad­di­tion to Gun­ther Vil­lage’s Silkie chick­ens, the pair will be led around the fa­cil­ity to visit res­i­dents’ rooms.

“We’re try­ing to bring more pet therapy to our fa­cil­ity be­cause it’s proven to re­duce de­pres­sion, lone­li­ness and anx­i­ety in pa­tients with Alzheimer’s and de­men­tia,” Mrs Thomp­son said.

“Their faces tell a story; once they’re han­dling an­i­mals they’re re­laxed and calm, and it brings out words.”

Harold im­me­di­ately bonded with the goats, check­ing their health and clean­ing off any burs.

“I’ve had goats since I was a child,” he said.

“Once you bond with them, you bond with them for­ever.”

PHOTO: FELIC­ITY RIP­PER

GOAT TO BE KID­DING ME: Gun­ther Vil­lage's new­est res­i­dents are goats, as part of the aged care home's an­i­mal therapy ini­tia­tive.

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