Upstate dogs celebrate Independence Day at senior center


CLEMSON, S.C. (WSPA) – The fourth of July is right around the corner and this afternoon a few of our furry friends in Clemson decided to celebrate early.

Volunteers from the Alliance of Therapy Dogs hosted a pup parade for seniors who are living in isolation at Clemson Heritage Senior Living center.

“We haven’t been able to go into nursing homes and they really miss us. For a lot of these assisted living homes they had to give up their pets to come here. So we bring a little bit of joy and remembrance of what it was like to have a pet,” Jerri Megenity, Paws2Care volunteer, said.

The pups and volunteers were dressed in their patriotic best, some were seen wearing tutus and red white and blue hats.

They were paraded around the courtyard by their owners who were waving and holding signs, all to make the patients at the center feel happy and loved.

“We want them to remember that we love them. That even though we’re not able to come visit, we love them and miss spending time with them as well, ” Lisa Mckinne, regional director at Providence Care Hospice, said.

Before the pandemic, Alliance of Therapy Dogs made routine visits to the senior living center and schools around the Upstate, but since they were unable to for weeks due to closures their dogs were eager to make folks happy again.

“When COVID-19 wasn’t here our group would go to many facilities, so we are very busy normally so this was great because my dog was missing visits,” Jerri Megenity said.

To learn more about how to get involved with Alliance to Therapy Dogs and their Paws 2 Care group, please visit their website.

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