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Goats help relieve stress at Essentia Health

Duluth Goat Yoga brought three miniature goats to the health system to celebrate National Therapy Animal Day.

A woman pets a mini goat while another woman holds the goat.
Amy Calore, a registered nurse at Essentia Health, pets a miniature goat held by Angela Abernathy of Duluth Goat Yoga during a therapy animal event Tuesday at Essentia's Miller Dwan Building.
Laura Butterbrodt / Duluth News Tribune

DULUTH β€” In celebration of National Therapy Animal Day, which was Sunday, members of the Miller Dwan Foundation brought in miniature goats to the Essentia Health-Duluth Miller Dwan Building on Tuesday morning.

A woman reaches out a hand for a mini goat to eat from
Kathy Makkyla, development associate at the Miller Dwan Foundation, feeds one of the miniature goats at Essentia Health-Miller Dwan.
Laura Butterbrodt / Duluth News Tribune

Kerry Jo Johnson, Miller Dwan Foundation marketing specialist, said the three goat guests were a fun way to help relieve staff and patient stress. Duluth Goat Yoga brought in the animals for a couple hours for people to feed, play with and try to pet.

Johnson said Essentia welcomes applicants for volunteer therapy pet teams. The animal must be certified to visit patients at the health care system.

A child chases after three mini goats
Lemmon Castillo chases after the three miniature goats at a therapy animal event.
Laura Butterbrodt / Duluth News Tribune
A mini goat wears a small doctor costume with two goats behind it
One of the three miniature goats at the Miller Dwan Foundation's therapy animal event wears a doctor's coat as a costume.
Laura Butterbrodt / Duluth News Tribune

Laura Butterbrodt covers health for the Duluth News Tribune. She has a bachelor of arts in journalism from South Dakota State University and has been working as a reporter in Minnesota and South Dakota since 2014.
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