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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals, Human Services

Mission: Canine Assisted Therapy, Inc.’s mission is to enhance the lives of children and adults by achieving specific physical, cognitive, social, or emotional goals through the use of certified pet therapy teams.

Target demographics: Children with special needs, veterans, hospital and hospice patients and families, youth in foster care facilities, youth testifying in court, dementia patients and children in schools reading below grade level.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 300,000 individuals in Florida

Geographic areas served: South Florida hospitals, courthouses, shelters, schools, special needs facilities, nursing homes, hospice, and child welfare facilities.

Programs: The Pack Reader program in schools serves children that have been identified as "at risk" or reading below grade level. Therapy dogs sit with children each week to listen to books read aloud which gives the children a chance to practice their literacy skills. The Performing Canine Magic Program provides therapeutic goals and interventions for veterans with PTSD, individuals with traumatic brain injuries or Cerebral Palsy, physical and occupational therapy patients and children on the autism spectrum. Animal Assisted Activities Teams help the elderly in assisted care facilities or senior care centers relieve loneliness and anxiety by interacting with the dogs. Therapy dogs also interact with Alzheimer’s patients.

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Canine Assisted Therapy is definitely setting new standards in pet therapy. The programs that are provided to those in need are second to none. The dogs are closely evaluated and the volunteers are very well trained. I love the fact that the dog is the main concern. No dogs are forced to do pet therapy if they do not truly enjoy the experience. That is so important for not only the dog, but for the people who are receiving the pet therapy. Pet therapy organizations should all live up to the standards set forth by Canine Assisted Therapy.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Canine Assisted therapy has made a huge impact on all the patients i have seen them interact with. It is so amazing to see the difference that the animals can make with individuals of all ages and abilities, and expanding their reach throughout south Florida will only benefit everyone they encounter. Canine Assisted therapy rocks!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love Canine Assisted Therapy, Inc. because the dogs happiness is their first concern and they are always open to listen and change things to improve. I have seen them turn volunteers away because the dogs were not enjoying the work. It's hard for handlers that really want to do it but their dogs don't. The staff is always available for questions and help. They are a wonderful fun group of people that love helping others.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Canine Assisted Therapy, Inc. sets their standard high for both the volunteer people and their dogs. People are trained and fingerprinted, dogs must pass tests. All are tested extensively on various situations that they are liable to run into so you are assured that the team can handle it successfully. I am proud to be a part of this group.
Linda and Scruffy

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My dog and I volunteer with this fantastic group. Both handler and dog go through testing and certification for safety of those we visit with. By doing this wherever we go they know they are getting the type of dog and individual they can trust. We work with children, handicaped individuals, hospital patients, nursing home occupants and much more. It always brings a smile to my face when I walk into one of the nursing home rooms and hear the person call my dog's name happily....and know they never remember my name! To me, that's proof that my little dog is doing her job well.
Linda and "Scruffy"

1 Shoshana R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Macy (my 3 year old labrador) and I became involved with Canine Assisted Therapy (CAT) in January. As an individual who has been involved with dog related organizations for many years, I feel that CAT is setting a higher standard for therapy dogs. Every Canine Assisted Therapy Volunteer team we have meet have been exceptional people and dogs! This group is some of the kindest people I have ever met! The group is wonderful in making sure you and your dog are comfortable and find the best placement match for you (nursing home, school, pack readers, etc). Canine Assisted Therapy is truly an Organization that makes a difference in many lives; Getting involved with CAT is one of the best things I have done!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with other organizations, observed friends who are affiliated with other organizations, and find C.A.T. to be one of the best. C.A.T. executive members and volunteers all demonstrate a commitment to finding the right placement for the dog and his/her handler. This is of utmost importance for the benefit of both the animal and the people they are helping.

They also work with the groups being visited to insure all the proper documentation and background checks are completed. This allows a comfort level to both the visiting location, insures state laws are being satisfied, but most importantly insures those affiliated with C.A.T can maintain a comfort level when working with other individuals at various locations.

To insure the teams are always at the top of their 'game', they consistently offer ongoing education. This education covers everything from how to recognize signs in your dog to how to safely work within a given environment.

My dogs and I have been active with therapy for several years now. Nothing replaces the joy of watching an individual's face when they see the dog; whether it's a child reading to the dog at one of our Pack Reading events, a patient in hospital recovering, or an alzheimer's patient who has trouble connecting but experiences peace and a small memory from the feel and warmth of the dog. I truly appreciate the efforts made by C.A.T. to insure my dogs and I can continue to enjoy that warm feeling in an educated and safe environment.

Jennifer211

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is by far the most organized, thorough, detailed, highly experienced, dedicated, and safest Dog/AnimalTherapy Organizations in the Country. Me and my dog volunteer for C.A.T. from Florida to Pennsylvania. I have trained my dog for 7 years and chose C.A.T. to certify her because of the highest standards in this industry. I always feel safe, prepared, relaxed and confident when visiting any facility with my dog, because I know I have the support from C.A.T. and she has been evaluated to the highest standards. C.A.T. volunteers are very knowledgeable and come from a vast background. We all as a group hold C.A.T. to the highest standards, and as a group, come together to place the organization in unique facilities. C.A.T. continues to grow by leaps and bounds and me and my dog wouldn't have it any other way. If you are considering a professional Dog Therapy Organization, make your first and last stop at Canine Assisted Therapy.

smann10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found Canine Assisted Therapy, Inc. by accident at a dog show a few years ago. I had just had my two dogs tested for their therapy certification with another organization, but after hearing what Canine Assisted Therapy (C.A.T.) was about, I decided to have my dogs retested by them. They passed and became C.A.T. Dogs! Canine Assisted Therapy provides ongoing training and support for its volunteers which I never received from the other therapy dog organization. They also provide mentoring, followup with the facilities, and a much more intense evaluation than the other (international) therapy dog group. I like the personal attention that Canine Assisted Therapy provides to its volunteers (making sure you and your dog's needs and abilities match your facility), and to its "clients". I would definitely recommend Canine Assisted Therapy to anyone wanting to make a difference by volunteering with their well-trained, well-behaved dog.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

From my experience, C.A.T. should be the standard that all Pet Therpy organizations should strive to emulate. I have been a member and observed other organizations and find this one the best because of it's commitment to first and foremost finding the best fit for the dog both in the type of facility and the individuals to be visited through their testing. Second, they work with the groups being visited to provide the background checks of the handlers that are required by Florida law and setting up the visits that work best for the facility. Finally, they follow through after placing a team to offer the teams continuing education and being sure the facility is happy with their service and they are dedicated to teach children and everyone they come in contact with how to treat and respect animals. I have two dogs who are members and the experiences we have had are heart warming. We have personally watched children grow and show confidence in their ability to read through the Pack Reader program, felt the spirits and and overall emotional well being of individuals with Alzheimer's and other dementia and their families respond with recognition and smiles from touching and talking to my dogs. You cannot top the joy my dogs and I get from someone opening their eyes and lighting up at seeing us. We continue to work on trying to help individuals perform their therapy and giving all ages a little of what they need to be happy and successful in their lives. My dogs love their work!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My son had been seriously ill and in the hospital for almost a month. During that time we were missing our Golden Retriever Wally that was at home with family members, but we were lucky enough to be visited by many of the therapy dog teams the hospital had to offer. Shortly after getting home, I was determined to get Wally certified and to bring joy to others like we had experienced. After researching many local pet therapy groups, I found C.A.T. Debra and Joanne are wonderful and the organization has made me a better person. They are professional,caring and supportive. I have volunteered with Wally is multiple settings, with the elderly and with children. I have also volunteered as a mentor to new teams. C.A.T. is simply the best!