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Therapy pig helps seniors in Connecticut

By Audrey Russo

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    WOODBRIDGE, Connecticut (WFSB) — Animals have a way of reaching across the divide and bringing people together.

There’s no better example of that than in Woodbridge, where a unique therapy animal owned by an animal control officer makes her rounds.

“I got her when she was ten weeks old,” said Jessica Moffo, Woodbridge Animal Control Officer, and Porkchop’s owner.

“People have therapy dogs all the time. At what point did you realize this pig had the chops?” Eyewitness News asked.

“She just loves to be with people,” said Moffo.

A sight that’s hard to resist and one you won’t soon forget.

“She knows sit, stay,” Moffo said.

Moffo knows her therapy pig Porkchop can bring out the best in other people.

“I would bring her out into the public and people would just flock to her,” said Moffo.

She packs up her unforgettable pig and brings her to places where memories aren’t guaranteed.

“Dementia, it’s a hard disease,” Moffo said.

Moffo was inspired to visit nursing homes after seeing firsthand how animals can bring people back.

“To see my grandma sort of come back to life,” said Moffo. “She didn’t know what was going on she didn’t know who we were but when I brought the dog there she would mellow out. Seeing their smiles and the joy. they remember Porkchop so they know her and they wait for her.”

At the Willows Nursing Facility Porkchop gets to work, bringing out smiles and bringing back memories.

“Fantastic really fantastic,” said Leona Oakley, who lives at the Willows.

“Do you have any experience with pigs?” Eyewitness News asked.

“Yeah when my dad went up to his friend’s farms,” Leona said. “I must have been what, 6 years old?”

An animal that brings out the truest version of a human being.

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