When her aunt passed away last November, Carrolyn Minggia, 64, felt isolated. The Brooklyn Heights resident had moved from Philadelphia to NYC four years prior to care for her aging relative, who suffered from cancer and dementia. After her death, Minggia, who never married and has no children, suddenly found herself alone.

“When I moved here, there were aides, and when she passed, everybody left again,” she says.

Then, in April, Minggia got a pet — sort of.