From military veterans suffering from PTSD, to prison inmates who just need a someone to care for, to university safe spaces for stressed-out students, the healing power of service dogs has shown to be real, and the comfort they give is regarded as a legitimate form of therapy.
Now, even veterinarian offices have started to catch on—and the way they’re using four-legged friends to bring one another comfort is probably the cutest thing you’ll ever see!
At Northfield Veterinary Hospital in Denver, Colorado, an orange cat named Ron has been working for the last year as a therapy cat, taking his own backstory and using it to help nervous animals make it through some tough medical visits.
Ron was rescued from a feral cat colony with three of his siblings when he was just 3 months old, and it didn’t take long for him to start to show empathy to the animals that came through the hospital. He slowly became the unofficial hand holder for any other animals that needed a bit of comfort during surgery or other procedures, snuggling up to cats and dogs alike to make sure they felt comforted during their tough visits.
So my friend’s vet has a comfort-dog assistant that helps sick patients know that everything will be alright and this is really all you need to see today ❤️🐾 pic.twitter.com/V7tgZ4FmTC
— JustJanis 💃 (@jsavite) February 2, 2019
As if Ron isn’t enough, though, the concept of “therapy animals” at vet clinics seems to be slowly taking off—and each picture of animals comforting their kin seems to be more adorable than the last.
Twitter user JustJanis shared this photo of a “comfort dog” helping keep another dog company at their visit, which immediately went viral (and really couldn’t be sweeter!).
Another Twitter user commented on the photo, explaining that her own cat and dog also went in to work with her at a vet’s clinic to help comfort other animals when they seemed nervous or scared.
I was the manager of a Veterinarian Hospital for 5 yrs & my Dog Sam came to work w/me every day. He’d comfort both his fellow K-9’s during treatments & if he couldn’t do that, he’d go out to the lobby & sit w/their parents. I used to bring my Cat too. This was their “office”: pic.twitter.com/IsxY6hMNUm
— ❄ Karen Catizone ☃️ (@Mugsysam) February 3, 2019
“I was the manager of a veterinary hospital for 5 years,” wrote Karen Catizone. “My dog Sam came to work w/ me every day. He’d comfort both his fellow K-9’s during treatments & if he couldn’t do that, he’d go out to the lobby & sit w/their parents. I used to bring my Cat too. This was their ‘office’”
Eventually, Ron was adopted by a family that was willing to take him to a new forever home outside of the veterinary hospital—and while they miss him every day, it’s clear that his role in the office is something that other animals could hopefully fill in the future!