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Easter Bunnies pay veterans a visit at Surbiton care home

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Pat cuddles a rabbit

Easter bunnies made an early appearance at Royal Star & Garter when an animal petting experience visited the charity’s Surbiton Home.


A macaw parrot, Pomeranian and Russian toy poodle dogs, Polish chicks, corn snakes, leopard tortoise and bearded dragons were also among the visitors brought to the Home by Shae Bunnies petting experience on Wednesday 5 April.


Royal Star & Garter provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia. The charity also has Homes in Solihull and Surbiton.

Maureen and Joan meet the parrot

The animals spent hours at the Home, where they were cuddled and stroked by veterans in the reception area.


Afterwards resident Anne said: “It was a lovely morning. The animals were so beautiful.”

A corn snake wraps itself around Anne’s neck

‘Amazing to see the smiles on so many faces’


Ashley Brown, from Shae Bunnies, said: “It was absolutely amazing to see the smiles on so many faces.”


Animals are regular guests at Royal Star & Garter. Research shows stroking them can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and increase social interaction and physical activity. It has also been shown to help battle depression and loneliness.

Rosemary holds a bearded dragon while husband Bob strokes it

In January, two alpacas visited the Home, and last year residents got up close to winged wonders including an African spotted eagle owl and Harris hawk during a birds of prey presentation. Pets as therapy (PAT) dogs also regularly visit, and relatives often bring their dogs to the Home when seeing a loved one.


Royal Star & Garter in Surbiton is welcoming new residents. For more information on this, or to work for the charity, go to

Home Manager Helena Maher and resident Bet give the Russian toy poodle some TLC
Lily with a young chick
Jack holds a young bunny
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