Therapy turkey provides emotional support

Courtesy CBS News

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash (CBS) A woman in Washington state struggling with lupus has a special pet that she says gives her emotional support.

Sammi is a 6-month-old, 30-pound turkey.

Mary Pearce got Sammi as a baby. Pearce says Sammi helps her deal with pain from lupus and depression.

"She keeps me going. She gets me up every morning, at 5 in the morning, and having a turkey around just keeps things interesting and nice, you know," Pearce said.

While Sammi can't cuddle or sit on Pearce's lap anymore, she still loves eating bread, enjoys a good bath, and plays with Pearce's dogs.

"I've never thought about before having a turkey as a pet, but now that I have her, I don't ever want to give her up," Pearce added.

Pearce says she cannot imagine a life without Sammi. She says she's working to get Sammi certified as an emotional support animal. To do that, she will need a prescription from a doctor.