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Mini-horses bringing smiles to Alzheimer’s patients

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(WBIR/NBC NEWS) – It’s hard not to smile when you see mini-horses and donkeys. So when they waltz into an assisted living facility in Tennessee, the residents have the same reaction.

They’re not your typical visitors. 

“Miniature bodies, large personalities,” said Julia Stewart, volunteer coordinator for Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding, or STAR.

“It’s just really hard not to smile when you see a miniature walk in with some shoes on and some weird hat,” Stewart added, pointing out the Halloween costumes and Build-A-Bear shoes on the miniatures’ feet.

The residents at Avenir Memory Care at Knoxville love making those memories. It’s an assisted living facility for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. 

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