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Utah Red Cross honors therapy kangaroo for work with veterans

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |   Feb. 11, 2016 at 1:21 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- The Utah Red Cross said it will bestow an Everyday Heroes honor on a very special veterans home volunteer -- a 1-year-old kangaroo.

The red cross said Charlie, a 1-year-old kangaroo weighing about 30 pounds, will be honored March 31 for his work at the William E. Christoffersen Salt Lake City Veterans Home.

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"He is an amazing therapy pet that allows the residents to laugh and share the joy of having him visit," Noralyn Kahn, an administrator at the home, told KTVX-TV. "A secondary benefit is that children aren't as afraid to come see grandma and grandpa because they can come see Charlie too so it's all positive."

Rich Woodruff, a representative for the Utah Red Cross, said the organization only recently added an animal category to its Everyday Heroes program.

"This is a very unique story and we are pleased and proud to honor the work of Noralyn and of course Charlie," Woodruff told KUTV. "We're just so pleased to bring this story to light and share it with the community at our annual Heroes Event."

Kahn said Charlie won't be able to live in the home for much longer, as red kangaroos grow quickly and he will soon reach 125 pounds and 5 feet, 2 inches tall.

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