Marklund residents befriend mini horses

Marklund residents are used to welcoming two-legged volunteers at its Elgin-based Wasmond Center, but last Saturday, the volunteers who stopped by were four-legged, and wearing tiny, fashionable Build-a-Bear shoes.

Mini horses from SOUL Harbour Animal Ranch Animal Therapy Program of Barrington, and their trained handlers, visited with the residents at the Wasmond Canter as a part of its volunteer pet therapy program.

The residents, all of whom have developmental disabilities and who attended the therapy visit sitting in wheelchairs, not only enjoyed seeing and nuzzling the adorable minis face to face, but helped lead the horses around their large indoor meeting room.

The biggest treat was introducing a resident named Faith to a mini also named Faith.

Visits from the SOUL Harbour team is always a big hit not only with residents but staff as well, noted Melanie Toth, volunteer engagement specialist at Marklund.

Marklund is a nonprofit organization that serves children and adults with profound developmental disabilities, and has residential and educational facilities in Elgin, Bloomingdale and Geneva.

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