Assisted living facility using ‘baby bunny therapy’ to help residents

Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 1:19 PM CDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - There’s rarely a dull day for residents at The Social at Savannah, thanks in large part to their social network director Lucille Dixon

Recently Dixon was approved to foster animals, which is where her next idea came from.

“We should get a bunny. We could foster a bunny, right? And they were like, ‘no we can’t foster a bunny.’ I said, “ehhhh, we can foster a bunny.’” Dixon recalls.

Well, as it turns out, they could, and would foster a bunny.

Welcoming Radish into their family, thanks to some help from the Humane Society of Greater Savannah.

“This is a first for us, having a retirement community foster one of our animals and it has been the best thing,” said Development & Foster Coordinator Montana Tohm.

In just the few weeks Radish has been here, he’s already become a favorite of the residents.

“We sort of, you know, take our turns as best we can, because some of us are faster than the others,” says resident Dolores Lawler.

Although he may not look like he’s working, Radish is playing an important role.

“It’s a whole other form other therapy for us here,” says Dixon.

Something as simple as petting Radish actually helps residents with their fine motor skills.

Even his natural good looks are being put to good use.

“Now the big question is where’s Radish? Everyday, where’s Radish? And that is bringing more residents out of their room. That’s how he’s helping us,” Dixon says.

But Radish doesn’t have it too bad either.

“He’s almost purring. I don’t know if rabbits pure, I’m a cat person, but he feels like he’s purring,” laughs Lawler.

His new gig preparing him well for what might be next.

“Radish has been around so many different sounds and people and he gets constant attention. He is a very spoiled little bunny,” said Tohm.

Although if you ask Dixon she hopes this is Radish’s last stop.

“Okay, I’m advocating for that one because he is a great addition. Fits perfectly within our family.”

The Social at Savannah was set to foster Radish for three or four weeks, but if things do well there’s a chance they could adopt to become a permanent resident.

Radish is their first ever foster pet, but they hope to have more in the future.

Copyright 2021 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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