Pony Brings Kisses, Joy to Nursing Homes

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Carol Wingertner's Shetland pony Sampson is a therapy pet who brings smiles to New Jersey nursing home residents in a rather unexpected way -- he kisses them.

Once a week, Wingertner, who's a horse trainer, takes 300-pound Sampson to visit nursing homes in Hamilton, N.J. He walks around quietly - careful not to bump into anyone - and gives a gentle kiss to anyone who asks.

Sampson is not the usual therapy pet, but nursing home residents can't help but smile when he comes to visit.

"I love to pet him," resident Carmella Dileo said. "I'm 95 years old, and I remember petting a horse as a kid. And I really enjoy his visit here and that he kissed me"

Nursing home administrators say that Sampson does wonders for the patients and that everyone looks forward to his visits.

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