Peaches and Idaho, from Lifting Spirits Miniature Therapy Horses, came to Lowell General Hospital on Thursday, July 20 to brighten the day of many patients. A team from Boston 25 News filmed a special feature on our therapy horse visits that aired on Friday, July 21. You can watch the full news story on the Lifting Spirits website.
Lifting Spirits, a non-profit based in Andover, provides mobile equine assisted activity services throughout New England. They visit over 150 facilities annually, using their trained miniature horses to bring happiness, hope and a sense of well-being to people of all ages and needs.
“It is amazing to witness the powerful impact our miniature therapy horses have on patients and their families, as well as the staff,” says Toni Hadad, Lifting Spirits Founder, President, and Caretaker. “Everyone just lights up and you can tell how much the visit has made their day. Lifting Spirits is very proud to partner with Lowell General Hospital and help bring joy, comfort and healing to those in need.”
Our Philanthropy, Volunteer Services, and Spiritual Care teams coordinate the Lowell General visits that take place monthly between May and October. Lowell General has partnered with Lifting Spirits since 2022. In addition to Lifting Spirits, five trained therapy dogs, Ellie, Enzo, Lucy, Molly and Officer Waffles, provide positive mental, social, educational, spiritual and physical benefits to our patients.
“Animal therapy has proven to be of great benefit to both patients and staff at Lowell General Hospital,” says Dean Shapley, Director of Mission and Chaplaincy. “The comfort and pleasure the animals provide, plus the simple fact of their visits being completely out of the norm of everyday hospital life, have profound effects on peoples’ moods and attitudes. We often hear comments of how patients are missing their own pets, or how staff would like to take one of the miniature horses home with them. Tears of joy and thankfulness are a frequent occurrence. Pets give unconditional love, which can be an essential element of the healing process.”