WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Imagine a child smiling at ease next to a horse, or parents who are going through a divorce, using the farm to explain to their children what’s happening at home.

“Animals provide healing in a way that humans can’t,” Kate Nicoll, CEO and Clinical Social Worker, said.

Soul Friends is a nonprofit established in 2003 to provide animal-assisted therapy to children, families, veterans and first responders. The belief is that animals can help families with emotional health, mental health struggles in a way that sometimes humans can’t.

Kate Nicoll is proud to have served over 8,000 children and families in the last 20 years.

“We’ve worked with children under the care of DCF, serious mental health struggles, kids with autism,” Nicoll said.

Because every child deserves a chance and everyone deserves to experience the love and comfort animals bring.

“Animals are connected to us,” Nicoll said. “They’re very forgiving. They provide us in the moment experiences.”

Whether it’s one wagging tail at a time, the whistle of a guinea pig or equine therapy, Nicoll noted, “we have a combination of a mental health provider and equine specialist.”

The goal remains the same–to help and to heal.

To learn more about Soul Friends, click here.