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Micro mini cow Dolly Star brings joy to Valley hospitals, memory care facilities

A micro mini cow is travelling around the Valley bringing smiles to people's faces in care facilities.

CHANDLER, Ariz. — Don't have a cow. Instead, meet a mini one. 

Dolly Star is a super friendly and lovable cow, but not your typical animal for a therapy service program.

She’s now being used to brighten up people’s spirits.

“Smallest cow I’ve ever seen… is typically the first response I get,” said Karin Boyle, with the Dolly Star Foundation, a Valley nonprofit. “Dolly Star is an American White Park, but she is a Micro Mini. The breed is about two years old.”

Boyle says her sweet mini cow Dolly Star was bred on a family farm and now, almost full-grown, she’s still tiny but mighty.

And Dolly is moo-ving mountains in her work in a cow therapy service program.

“Because Dolly is our first cow therapy animal, we are in specializing in memory care and hospitals,” Boyle said.

Team 12 caught up with her during a visit to the Gardens at Ocotillo Senior Living in Chandler.

“To bring a little bit of agriculture back into these facilities, especially for people that grew up on farms or dairies or anything like that… they can’t be around their cows anymore, so how awesome to bring the cow back to somewhere that they can be,” she said.

Let’s just say, this team is perfectly cut out for this line of work.

“Very surprised, this is the first time I’ve seen a cow that size,” said resident John Stewart.“I think it does a lot for the morale here... Everybody really seems to enjoy it.”

He says Dolly’s presence in places like this is important. Her soothing spirit always seems to bring a smile to the faces of those she meets.

“My first thought was oh my goodness she’s so adorable,” said Melissa Cecil of Gardens at Ocotillo. “Pets make all the difference in the world... our residents, the smiles that are brought to them by the animals that come in, I mean dogs and cats alone are fun, but for them today, to have a cow come and visit, they were so excited.”

The program is working to lift people up and even get them to think outside the box.

“Many of our residents asked if we can have cows now… if we can just have a farm here,” Cecil said. “So that might be a new idea, but just lots of fun today with our residents.”

“The more that we can bring joy to them, and the more that we can bring things that make their day better, whatever that looks like, we love to do that,” she said. “That’s what we’re about here.”

While Dolly Star currently visits facilities in Chandler and Gilbert, she’s up for going to other parts of the Valley, but her handler says she’s grown out of her transportation, so they’re in need of a new cargo van.

To learn more about the nonprofit micro cow therapy program, go to http://dollystarfoundation.com/.

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