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Rx Pets, a nonprofit organization in Redding, Calif., lets volunteers visit nursing homes and hospitals with their pets to boost morale. The organization has been around since 2000 and it currently has around 100 volunteers — everyone from lawyers to judges to retirees.

Donna Conrad, a volunteer and the group’s board of director’s president, said Rx Pets also reaches out to schools by letting children read to dogs to overcome their reading problems.  Conrad, 57, who teaches nursing classes and owns six dachshunds, said Rx Pets is the perfect balance, combining the medical and animal worlds.

And though most of the animals in Rx: Pets are dogs and cats, there have also been rabbits, a rat, a chicken and a miniature horse who have been involved in the organization. For more information about Rx Pets go to

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