A trip to the farm is just what the doctor ordered. Exotic and farm animals are becoming therapy for people with disabilities. It's based deep in Henry County.
There on a gravel road in Ridgeway is a farm like none other in Southern Virginia.
"We have 22 different species of animals at the ranch," said Laura Steere. She and her husband Rick care for all of them.
Since 2007 the fields of Llamas and pigs have proved educational for area schools, but one new program starting next month helps people with disabilities. It's called ENABLE.
"ENABLE stands for Enriching, Nurturing Animal Based Learning Experiences," Laura said. "We realized that there weren't a lot of programs for adults. The programs that are here are wonderful, but a lot of times there is a waiting list for people to get into them."
Right now they're using Piedmont Community Services to reach out to participants with day long meetings several times a week. The idea came from experiences Rick's son Michael has on the farm.
He has autism. One year ago he moved in with his dad at Infinity Acres.
"He's lost 25 pounds and he's off blood pressure medicine. I mean, that speaks for itself," Rick said.
To Rick and Laura, that's the only proof they needed that animals, no matter their size, can heal, or at least help.
"What is it about petting animals like Llamas that is so therapeutic?" said WDBJ7's Justin Ward.
"Animals are beautiful, they're soft, they develop a bond," Laura said.
"None judgmental is a big thing too," Rick said. "They're accepting you for what you are, for who you are. And they give back. They give back all the time."