A resident at Good Samaritan Society-Austin makes a new friend at the petting zoo. Photo courtesy of GSS-Austin

Goats, donkeys, rabbits, miniature horses, sheep and a llama. That’s not a checklist for Noah’s Ark but rather the guests that visited Good Samaritan Society in Austin, MN, during National Skilled Nursing Care Week. 

“The event was amazing, we love to celebrate our residents and staff!” said GSS Austin administrator Clara Stitt. “Most of our residents came outside to see and touch the animals and staff accompanying residents enjoyed it just as much. Some staff came in on their day off with their little ones to see the mobile farm.”

In addition to hosting the petting zoo, GSS fired up the grill for some hot dogs, complemented by watermelon and soda. This was the second year the community hosted the petting zoo. Some residents have hung pictures of themselves with the animals on their bedroom walls. 

Stitt said it was important to the community to make the event open to staff, who make this and so many other events — even the everyday ones —possible.

“Our staff are everything, they make our residents and each other feel like they are part of a family at Good Samaritan Society-Comforcare,” said Stitt. “Our employees do so many incredible things every day to care for and protect our residents. They do this as a second nature, without expecting praise or recognition. We could never celebrate our staff enough.”