Animals Great Comfort at Ivy Hall; Perimeter Pet Pals Cheer Local Residents

by Jennifer Howard

Residents of the Ivy Hall assisted living residence on State Bridge Road celebrated Halloween Oct. 20 with cats and dogs, as part of a visit from the Perimeter Pet Pals.

The Alpharetta chapter, Perimeter Pet Pals Inc., is run by Christine Barnes, who is certified by the state to evaluate cats, dogs and rabbits for pet therapy.

There have been cases where animals have helped residents eat when they don’t want to, talk when they haven’t in months, or laugh when they haven’t been happy in a while, Barnes said.

“They love it. It is so refreshing. The residents really love them. A lot of them had pets before moving to assisted living,” said DeeDee West, director of Ivy Hall’s life enrichment program. “It brightens them up. They start reminiscing about their pets and telling stories. We really appreciate them coming by with their pets and taking time out of their day.”