Prairie dog soothes East Tennessee's elderly

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ROANE COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- There are two animals in Roane County who are really making a difference at a retirement home.

Local 8 News Anchor Lauren Davis shows us what the therapy animals are doing.

Tucker loves going from room to room at Jamestowne Retirement Home. Fay Jago says, "They love him. If I don't bring them in, then I'm in trouble."

Tucker is a three legged chihuahua who was born without a front leg, and he was going to be euthanized. The home's executive director Fay Jago saw him on social media and saved his life by adopting him.
Now he's the community dog at the senior home. She says, "Everyone has issues and problems. Nobody is perfect. So why put him down because he's not perfect."

She also bought Raspy. She's a prairie dog that Fay takes around from room to room visiting with residents. One resident spends all day petting Raspy. Jago says, "Ms. Janie loves her. They'll sit in my office, and I'll go in there and they're both asleep on my couch. So it's a win win."

They make the residents feel more comfortable, and the residents calm the pets down. Fay says, "They're regular residents here."

Fay says she enjoys seeing the residents with animals so much, she's considering getting more service animals.