Animal Farm Foundation Launches Pets Together Program -Response to COVID-19 crisis designed to ease social isolation in Assisted Living Communities
Bangall, NY April 9, 2020: Animal Farm Foundation has announced the launch of Pets Together, a free virtual pet visit program that allows those who are socially isolated due to the COVID-19 pandemic to enjoy friendly interaction with pets (including dogs, cats, goats, horses, and other critters) and people. The goal of the program is to increase social connection and mitigate the loneliness that is a painful aspect of the pandemic.
Animal Farm Foundation (AFF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing dogs and people together to end discrimination. Using live video-conferencing platforms (Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts), the AFF team will schedule real-time visits where people can watch the animals and participate in friendly conversations with those who care for them. Notably, the Pets Together model greatly expands access to pet visits that have traditionally been reserved for face-to-face interactions for people living in group settings (such as nursing homes and hospitals) through formal therapy animal programs. The video chats are also available to doctors, nurses, and other health professionals on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis.
“One of the many effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is social isolation and loneliness, which were already highly prevalent before the crisis” said Stacey Coleman, Executive Director of Animal Farm Foundation. “We designed Pets Together to adapt to these unprecedented circumstances by tapping into the power of pets to spread joy and bring people together.”
Even before the pandemic, social isolation was a public health threat negatively impacting the wellbeing of many individuals, including but not limited to older adults. Now, with the mandate to stay at home to prevent the spread of coronavirus, so many more people are at risk for social isolation—further threatening physical as well as mental health.
Social isolation and loneliness are critical public health threats, especially for older adults and those who live in group settings. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, that threat is increasing. As we all stay home to protect one another from the virus, we must also protect each other from these public health risks.
Using video chat services, like Zoom, Pets Together lets people virtually visit with pets (and their people) to stay socially connected and engaged.
For more information or to schedule a Virtual Pet Visit