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SLC veterans home welcomes unique comfort animal

Posted at 2:44 PM, May 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-10 08:45:29-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The William E. Christoffersen Veterans Home in Salt Lake City is known for having unique comfort animals for their residents, including a new wallaby named Ava.

For the last nine years, Noralyn Snow has worked at the home and she’s had a kangaroo or a wallaby with her ever since. She says the wallabies bring so much joy to the residents and help to comfort them.

However, at the start of the pandemic, the staff had to take all the animals out of the home because they didn’t know if they could transmit the virus to residents, leaving everyone upset.

In March 2021, the animals were cleared to come back.

Other than Ava, the home has a tortoise named Frankie and a dog named Gertie.

“It also gives a spontaneity where you just never know what’s going to walk down the hall, or if you’re going to be in your room and in will peek the wallaby or Gertie the dog will bring you a ball to throw her and it just gives them a whole another dimension of love,” said Noralyn Snow, administrator at the home.

Snow says the residents are thrilled to have Ava and look forward to feeding and snuggling her daily.