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A visit from Dolly Star provides cherished moments after only one visit with Dolly Star children, patients and seniors fall in love and are left with smiles and laughter.


Animal assisted therapy has been shown to be beneficial for a variety of ailments, including Dementia, Alzheimer’s, PTSD, anxiety, depression, healing after surgical procedures, loneliness, behavioral issues, and the chronically ill, amongst others. The use of animals for therapy is actually quite old – in fact, it was the early Greeks that prescribed horse rides to raise the spirits of the incurably ill. The renowned nurse, Florence Nightingale, recognized the importance of animals for healing as well writing “A small pet is often an excellent companion for the sick, [and] for the chronic cases especially.” Patients who use animal assisted therapy are shown to have improvements in blood pressure, heart rate, depression, anxiety, and perceived quality of health. The animal interaction releases oxytocin as well, which is the hormone associated with social bonding. It also reduces stress and anxiety and promotes relaxation and trust.

Benefits of Cow Therapy

While many have heard about the benefits of equine therapy, bovine therapy is relatively new and unique. Koe knuffelen (‘cow hugging’ in Dutch) originated in The Netherlands about a decade ago.
Compared to humans, cows have a higher body temperature and slower heart rate, making the cuddling experience more relaxing than with other animals. Adult cows usually remain lying down during the experience, making it easier to access them and oftentimes, will lick and nudge their human companion. Not only does this make the cuddlers feel calmer and more relaxed, it also releases oxytocin, the hormone that is responsible for social bonding.

The bonding experience has been proven to be pleasant to the cows as well. A study published in the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science in 2007 reports that when cuddled by humans, cows show signs of deep relaxation (lower heart rate, stretching out and allowing their ears to fall back) – indicating that they also benefit from the interaction with humans.

What The Dolly Star Foundation Offers

Dolly Star is our mini white park heifer who is raised to cuddle and comfort. Originally visioned to provide therapy assistance to patients with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, Dolly Star’s cuteness and love expands to any individuals who may need her. Dolly Star’s mini size makes it easy to bring the benefits of cow cuddling and bovine therapy to:

  • Memory care facilities
  • Children’s hospitals
  • Rehab facilities
  • Adult Living Communities
  • Birthday Parties

On any given visit from Dolly Star individuals will have opportunities to interact with her including:

  • A lighthearted, endearing visit
  • Individual cuddle time
  • Wet-nosed kisses
  • Cow-eyed companionship
  • Unlimited photo opportunities

Interested in having Dolly Star visit your organization?

Contact us today to learn more about availability and creating your own custom loveable cow visit.

 A Visit From Dolly Star provides cherished moments. After only one visit with Dolly Star children, patients and seniors fall in love and are left with smiles to last a lifetime.

This revolutionary intervention is a new and exciting way to support those facing challenges by providing uplifting experiences for all involved.