The healing touch | August 8, 2018 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


Cover Story - August 8, 2018

The healing touch

Nonprofit's animals offer a therapeutic touch to sick kids, lonely inmates and adults needing help

by Lauren Kelmar

The 5-year-old boy was receiving treatment for cancer and staying at the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford with his family. As a treat, he and his dad came down to see the animals at Jasper Ridge Farm, arriving just as the volunteers finished setting up in the outside courtyard.

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7 people like this
Posted by Grey Seal
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Glens
on Aug 12, 2018 at 11:46 am

This wonderful work championed by Wendy Mattes highlights the profound healing benefits of human interaction with our fellow creatures. Animals benefit us in so many ways: health, service dogs, search & rescue, companionship to name a few. It is disturbing that also in Woodside, another form of interaction between humans and animals is on display each year. The Mounted Patrol choose to harass and frighten young pigs each year on the Fourth of July during the pig “scramble”. Woodside’s residents by and large do not share the view that it is “good old fashioned harmless fun.” Most of us see it for what it is: inhumane and totally inappropriate treatment of animals purely for entertainment- no equestrian or farming skills are on display in animal scrambles. The animals involved in this healing work are farm animals just like the young pigs. Would it be appropriate to do a baby goat, rabbit or pony “scramble” for entertainment and fundraising?

8 people like this
Posted by Eric Mills
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2018 at 12:30 pm

A wonderful story! Kudos to the kind-hearted folks at Jasper Ridge Farm--may their tribe increase.

Contrast this positive interaction between kids and animals with the ill-treatment of many of these same animals at the annual Woodside Jr. Rodeo and pig "scrambles." Does not compute.

3 people like this
Posted by Heather
a resident of Woodside: other
on Aug 12, 2018 at 1:35 pm

BLESS THE BEAUTIFUL FOLKS (& furry friends/ therapists) at Jasper Ridge!!! THIS is how it is meant to be! Peaceful, dignified, meaningful, respectful, and KIND interactions between children and animals. Sadly, the Woodside rodeo exploits, harasses, terrifies, and harms animals with their "scrambles," encouraging children to engage in animal cruelty. Rodeos are flat-out disgusting and violent. The world needs more love and compassion- exactly what Jasper Ridge is doing. THANK YOU.

3 people like this
Posted by Concerned Woodsider
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2018 at 1:37 pm

Concerned Woodsider is a registered user.

Positive interaction is developmentally important. Adults and children appreciating that animals have feelings and respond is so important. Excellent article , thank you. Parents need to understand that their children learn from the behavior of the adults in their lives. Compassion for and Respect for the animals are in evidence at Jasper Ridge Farm.
The adults and children who participate in the Woodside pig scramble need to learn to be compassionate and show respect for animals.
Please ask the Mounted Patrol to stop hosting the pig scramble. They could replace the pig scramble with an activity that gives the children a way to interact positively with animals.

2 people like this
Posted by AC
a resident of another community
on Aug 13, 2018 at 7:31 pm

Bravo sweet humans for showing kindness to our animal and human friends alike:)!!

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