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Taylor County Therapist Uses Animals To Help Clients

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When you think of a hero you may think about someone serving over seas, a teacher, or maybe even your parents. But have you ever thought about adding animals to the mix?

A therapist based in Taylor County is using animals to help people through rough patches in their lives.

"Anybody that's owned a pet that's been ill, they will come up and snuggle on you. They will lay on top of you. They just want to be close to you," said Terri Tichenor, Pet Helpers. "They know you aren't feeling well whether that's emotionally or physically."

"The animals can just naturally be teachers. As your observing them, they can really provide a lot of learning opportunities," said Molly McCartney, Beacon Barn Therapeutic Farm LLC.

Molly McCartney recently opened her own practice in Taylor County and it's not exactly what you'd expect.

"Clients feel a little bit more at ease and secure. Not only with the animals here, but just being in the barn and on the farm," she said.

McCartney worked at Life Reflections in Elkins for four years before branching out on her own.

"In that time, I really grew to respect her work. I mean, she really is an excellent therapist for all ages," said Judy Kramer, McCartney's Former Boss. "Particularly children are really drawn to her. She is really good with them. I'm definitely missing her a lot."

McCartney has a unique way to connect with her clients. She lets the animals teach them lessons.

"There's been a few times where I've been working with children on anger management and we're upstairs in the office working," McCartney said. "All of the sudden you'll hear a horse kick the barn or squeal at another horse. That's a perfect example of anger management."

"I'm a firm believer in including animals in treatment with people. It's a place of relief for people, its safe. You can learn a lot from animals," Kramer said.

McCartney has adopted some of her animals from Pet Helpers and said her clients can relate to their stories.

"The pigs that I use, one is a total extrovert and the other is a complete introvert because he has been mistreated in his life and neglected," she said. "A lot of times the clients can relate to that."

For additional information on the Beacon Barn Therapeutic Farm, visit the Facebook page.