You've heard of therapy dogs, but what about a certified cuddle duck?
Webster the therapy duck visits three Des Moines nursing homes, kids camps, or residence facilities each week to bring cheer and smiles to those in need, along with his owner Philip Blanchard. Webster rides right in the front passenger seat of the car; he is just tall enough to see out the window. His second favorite spot? A lap.
Webster started out as a family pet, but now he has official therapy duck certification. He is a domestic Mallard duck and cute as a button.
"He's always been so personable," Blanchard told KCRG Channel 9 local news.
"Webster loves to be social and out and about."
This special duck has a busy schedule between therapy visits, and is willing to travel to people who may need him. During downtime, he loves going shopping at Bass Pro Shops according to his owner.
Webster is a certified Therapet through the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, a program that certifies animals to visit residential facilities. Therapets meet people of all ages and sizes with all kinda of ailments from panic attacks to PTSD to different mental illnesses. The therapy animals must maintain a calm and friendly manner, even around medical devices and wheelchairs.
The pet therapy program matches each graduate with one or more locations that may need an animal to help bring solace and comfort to those in need.
Cat McAuliffe of the Iowa ARL therapy pets program told KCRG how much she loves seeing this unique kind of therapy:
"It's been amazing. He is super popular because it's a novel thing. People don't see a duck going out and sitting on people's laps and wanting to get attention."
For more information or to say hi to Webster, you can visit him on Facebook.
Do you know a certified therapy animal? Let us know in the comments below!
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