PHOTOS: Virginia animal shelter offers puppy snuggle sessions to 'make everything better'
A Richmond animal shelter received more than 400 requests for snuggle sessions with seven Pyrenees puppies after offering folks the chance to "forget about the worries of the world."
"After 2 years of Covid, social upheaval and now a war, we think we could all use a little puppy cuddle time," Richmond Animal Care and Control (RACC) posted on Facebook.
Christie Chipps-Peters, the shelter's director, said priority was given to first responders and health care professionals as well as people "who recently lost a loved one/suffering from a broken heart/depression/anxiety" went to the top of the list.
Fifty-two people were selected for the 30-minutes sessions.
“We've had a couple people that the minute they see them, they break down crying. We've had people laying on the floor and hugging them and just sobbing… letting out whatever they've had tucked in for as long as they've had it tucked in,” Peters said, “And I think when they leave, they're a little bit brighter and a little bit happier and a little bit lighter. And so we have succeeded in our goal.”
Peters said RACC plans to offer snuggle sessions again and hopes other shelters will embrace the idea.
“I hope that it's something that catches on,” Peters said. “I hope that other shelters across the country steal the idea. And you know, imagine how wonderful a place it would be. Every weekend somebody could go and hug a puppy somewhere. I think that's beautiful.”