Sullivan County

Animal therapy group looking for a few good pets

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. - A local group is looking for a few good pups, and cats, and even rabbits.

Human-Animal Bond In Tennessee, HABIT, is an animal-assisted therapy program. They're meeting at Northeast State Community College Monday night to recruit new members and give out information on what's involved, as well as what kind of commitment is required.

The non-profit group goes into area schools, hospitals and physical rehab facilities, retirement homes, and assisted living centers.

Ruth Sapp is the HABIT program coordinator. "Folks who are in nursing homes who are lonely, who may be having just a lot of pain from boredom even, dogs come in, and cats and rabbits, and it brightens their day," she said. "You might be able to help them remember happier thoughts. That kind of good feelings they have may even linger over several days."

That meeting is happening Monday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Northeast State Community College. You are asked to leave your pets at home for this informational session.

HABIT is a program of the University of Tennessee Collge of Veterinary Medicine. If you can't make tonight's meeting but would like to get involved, you can visit their website at

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