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California animal shelters announce they're seeking kitten cuddlers

Cuddling with pets has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression, and it can also help pet parents stay in better tune with their pets' health.
California animal shelters announce they're seeking kitten cuddlers
Posted at 7:58 PM, Jul 31, 2023

Santa Barbara County animal shelters in California are seeing an influx of kittens and are in need of kitten cuddlers, they announced.

Officials with the Santa Barbara County Animal Services are hoping people can come and spend some time with kittens. Right now, shelter staff say they have about 200 kittens at the shelters, and they say human interaction is healthy for the animals.

But what exactly does the role entail? 

"Just tending to them, because right now we're so busy that we're literally like cleaning and feeding, so having somebody just sit in there, talk with them, socialize with them, they are really going to give us a lot of information and help to find homes for them," said Nikki Ruhl, a Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter Clinic Supervisor.

The shelter in Santa Maria has a room filled with kittens to cuddle with.


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The River Landing Animal clinic says there are scientific benefits that come from cuddling with pets. It has been shown to significantly reduce anxiety and depression. 

"Cuddling stimulates the release of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which help relieve depression and may make you feel happier," the clinic says. 

Regular physical contact with pets helps pet parents understand their pet's health and if something is wrong. 

Research has also shown that starting your day by cuddling and snuggling with a pet for just around 10 minutes or so can hep you feel calmer. 

If you are interested in volunteering and are in the area, options to adopt or foster are also available. Click here for more information.

This story was originally published by Scripps News, California's Central Coast

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