A NEWTON Mearns-based Petting Zoo has been cheering up care home residents during lockdown with free online Zoom meeting.

Laura Schosloss, owner of Bunny & Co mobile petting zoo, has been visiting care home for years, however during the COVID lockdown, began offering the service for free.

Laura said: "My diary was full in March and then lockdown happen and everything just got wiped.

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"It was my daughter's idea to go on online and do virtual meetings showing the animals, which meant that the residents were not losing out.

"We took time to plan how this would work and I'm so glad that it has been such a success so far."

Bunny & Co have also been offering the virtual petting zoo sessions for free or a donation, in order to help keep care home residents occupied.

Laura said: "We figured it out with the activities co-ordinators and we are able to gather the residents and, although they are not able to physically pet the animals, the smiles on their faces make it all worth it.

Glasgow Times:

The petting zoo currently homes around 80 animals, including guinea pigs, ducks, hens, hamsters and rabbits.

They have also been given names, including Trump the guinea gig and George and Mildred the duck and hen, which Laura says often starts interesting conversations.

She said: "The thing with the names is that it triggers memories, which is very beneficial to those in nursing homes.

"George and Mildred are named after a TV show from the 1970s which jogs a lot of people's memories.

"We even an 'Archie Gemmill', which is great for jogging people's memories and telling funny stories.

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"One of the greatest things about the virtual petting zoo is the conversations and just having a chat with the residents.

"Doing this job, the biggest thing is really seeing the smile on people's faces when they see the animals.

"Evening without having the contact, it really make a difference in someone's day and you can tell.

"It makes it all worth it by far."

Laura says that the petting zoo will soon need to ask for donations in order to keep on going, but doesn't want to see anybody go without.

She said: "It has been a difficult time for everyone., more so in care homes and facilities.

"We will probably have to eventually ask for a donation to keep going, but we wouldn't stop the service for people who couldn't afford it.

"We don't want to make it extortionate, it would be the price of a haircut."