A HERD of fluffy, four-legged friends were the latest visitors to a Middlesbrough care home.

Rabbits and guinea pigs hopped in to see residents at The Gables Care Home, on Highfield Road, for an animal therapy session.

Staff from Pets at Home, on Teesside Park, Stockton-on-Tees, brought the animals for residents to hold and stroke.

Having contact with the cute, cuddly creatures provides therapeutic benefits for those living with dementia, according to home manager Pam Rodgers.

She said: “Watching, stroking and holding guinea pigs, rabbits and other animals can have a calming and positive impact on everyone – but especially those living with dementia.

“They might bring back fond memories of their own pets or give them something to focus on and care for. Everyone had big smiles on their faces at the end of the session.”

After holding the rabbit, resident Maureen Hall said: “How wonderful is he. I could hold him all day.”

Fellow resident James Haslam said: “It’s great being able to meet animals like this. Thank you. They are beautiful.”