LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Therapy animals come in all shapes and sizes, but one at Keystone Pet Enhanced Therapy Services is chomping at the bit to make people smile.
Franklin is one of the newest certified therapy animals for KEPTS. He’s a 9-year-old miniature horse, standing around three feet tall and over 800 pounds.
Franklin made one of his first outings Monday at Brethren Village to spread holiday cheer.
“He did phenomenal,” Franklin’s owner Michael Piacentino said.
Piacentino said it’s always been in his horse’s nature to want to be around people.
“When it came to training him for this, I didn’t do a heck of a lot (because) most of it is him,” he said.
Piacentino is a police officer by trade and he said putting Franklin in a service organization was a natural fit. “Law enforcement has a lot of community service aspect and that exactly what this is. That’s what the draw for me to that job and this also,” he said.
He believes that the horse realizes he is bringing joy to people.
“He almost can read and there is an interaction a bond that’s going and you can’t put your finger on what that is,” Piacentino said. “But I do believe that (he enjoys it).”
Piacentino said he eventually wants to take Franklin into schools.