New Jersey Farm Reports Busy Year As People Turn To Animal Therapy For Stress Relief

People are trying to find ways to cope during the pandemic, including animal therapy. It can help with some of the biggest issues people are experiencing right now, like anxiety, fear and stress; CBS2's Meg Baker reports.

Video Transcript

- One of the ways people are coping during the pandemic is through animal therapy.

- It can help with some of the biggest issues that people are experiencing right now like anxiety, fear, and stress. CBS News' Meg Baker reports.

- Can you give [? Reagan ?] and huggy and kissy?

- [INAUDIBLE]

- Let the animals work their magic.

MEG BAKER: A donkey and alpaca, goats, a horse, and more-- these are just a few of the more than 100 mLs on Allaire Community Farm's 25 acres.

- We have had the busiest year yet at Allaire Community Farm since COVID hit. People just need to get out and breathe some fresh air.

MEG BAKER: They get to pet and feed these friendly faces. It's instant stress relief for parents and kids alike.

- You can't not come here and smile. And that's one of the biggest, I think, benefits.

MEG BAKER: All the animals here are rescued. But many who volunteer and visit say the animals are the ones doing the rescuing. 14-year-old Alex Bean is in his element amongst the goats who nuzzle him in his wheelchair.

- Alex is the biggest rock star ever because the animals love Alex.

- They have an intuition. They can tell when you're stressed. They can tell when you're anxious. They can tell when you're sad.

MEG BAKER: Nancy Forsyth is a certified therapeutic riding instructor. She has programs for veterans with PTSD, people with special needs, and offers lessons to the general public.

NANCY FORSYTH: If you don't ride or you don't carriage drive, just being around the horse, petting it, grooming it is very, very relaxing.

MEG BAKER: These animals are providing a much needed boost for many feeling emotionally strained and socially isolated by the pandemic. All are welcome on the farm. Just wear your boots and your mask. In Wall Township New Jersey, Meg Baker, CBS 2 News.

- We could all use some of that.

- Yes, just bring some hand sanitizer too.

- Yeah, that too and some soap and water.