SOME unusual guests have been visiting a care home in Stroud.

The team at Scarlet House, on Westward Road, has implemented animal therapy as part of the residents’ care plans.

Residents have been visited by a host of interesting animals, including snakes, giant snails, guinea pigs and donkeys for several ‘show and tell’ workshops, led by Zoolab.

As part of the sessions, residents were provided with interesting facts on each of the individual animals, and were also able to handle and stroke the friendly creatures.

The initiative is already having a very positive effect on residents, especially those living with dementia, and the home is looking to arrange more visits in the future.

Sharon Morgan, home manager at Scarlet House, said: “We are always looking to plan interesting and exciting activities for residents, and as so many have a keen interest in nature and wildlife, so we invited Zoolab to provide fun animal therapy sessions.

“It proved to be a real success, and the results so far are beyond our expectations.

"Being close to animals can help lift a person’s mood, stimulate social interaction, and ease agitation. You could see from residents’ reactions just how engaged and fascinated they were by the chance to get so close to such a variety of wonderful creatures.

“Every visit brings its share of surprises, and we never know which animal will walk through the door – we’re all looking forward to welcoming the Zoolab team again very soon.”