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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

7 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.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a Volunteer and Board Member with Canine Assisted Therapy since its inception. This organization was established with the primary goal of being the most professionally run pet therapy organization in Florida...if not the Nation. I firmly believe this goal has been attained. C.A.T. serves so many different types of people. The sense of gratification from being a volunteer with CA.T. is tremendous. Our therapy teams have brought millions of smiles to thousands of people. The therapy teams are very well trained and tested to work with the different types of situations they provide pet therapy to. All volunteers must obtain a background screening prior to becoming a Therapy Team. The facilities that are served are provided with Volunteer Information Sheets that can help them during any type of inspection of their facility. C.A.T. knows where each of its therapy teams is volunteering at any given time and works with them in advanced training that will help them to be better volunteers. AND the dogs...well they are THE BEST! They have all passed their AKC Canine Good Citizen Test and then another internal test to ensure that they are suited to be therapy dogs. This organization is THE BEST!!! I would recommend it to anyone looking to give back to their community and to form an even better bond with their family pet.

Sarah84

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been with Canine Assisted Therapy since it was founded in 2009 and I am so proud to be part of this fantastic organization. C.A.T.'s standards and values are based off of its passion to change lives and it demonstrates this passion through its hardworking and dedicated volunteers. C.A.T.’s high standards and testing ensure that the facilities we visit are receiving the best possible care and unconditional love from our pet therapy teams. I have seen life changing progress in the individuals we visit. One of the most touching experiences I have had volunteering with C.A.T. was when I was helping to conduct an evaluation at a nursing home. We walked up to an elderly woman sitting alone on a bench. Her eyes lit up when she saw our pet therapy team and she started tearing up from the experience. She then looked up at us and said, “this has been the highlight of my week, thank you.” It’s small moments like this that can create large impacts in a person’s life and this is what Canine Assisted Therapy strives to accomplish everyday.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Having been in Canine Assisted Therapy since its inception, I can attest to the fact that it is professionally run and the best organization of its kind, not only in South Florida but, I am sure, in the country. The dogs are well trained, well behaved and love what they do. The owners (the second half of a pet therapy team) are dedicated and professional. These pet therapy teams are background checked, follow strict guidelines and perform with tremendous dedication. I am so proud to be one of the Canine Assisted Therapy Teams!

Going into a nursing home and visiting people that may not have anyone else to visit them for weeks on end is so very rewarding. These elderly people are so grateful and the love the dogs share with them cannot be replicated. The children we serve are also blessed to be able to share their love with such well trained dogs. Performing pet therapy is a volunteer position where you get so much more than you give…and what you give is a lot of love. I would highly recommend volunteering with Canine Assisted Therapy. Give and you shall receive!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a board member of Canine Assisted Therapy, I am so proud to be involved with such amazing and dedicated group of people who have made Canine Assisted Therapy the top Pet Therapy organization in South Florida. Canine Assisted Therapy teams are evaluated, trained, and have ongoing education and guidance. Our teams are placed in already C.A.T. vetted facilities and are accompanied on first visits. This is vital because most organizations certify the teams then they are left to their own devices.
As a volunteer it is truly rewarding to watch the changes in the children in our Pack Readers program. Most children enter Pack Readers with an intense dislike of reading out loud and by the end of the year the same children are vying with one another to see who will be first to read aloud! Their fluency has improved and their motivation comes of a non-judgmental, loving dog, lying beside them listening!
The atmosphere is a little different in the children’s clinic where my dog also volunteers. The child who is screaming and fearful of injections etc. become distracted by the dog and begins to comply with whatever procedure is being given by the doctor. Then there is the child in a wheelchair who is motivated to move an arm to pet the dog. Always very touching!
Canine Assisted Therapy brings all this and more to our community. Volunteering with C.A.T. is a rewarding and humbling experience. It is a reminder just how fortunate we are to bring a smile to a child’s lips or comfort an adult who may be having a stressful day. All this takes place just by being there with my C.A.T. Dog!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Canine Assisted Therapy, inc. is the leading pet therapy organization in South Florida and setting the standards for service nationally. Over 100 therapy dog teams are providing services to schools, hospitals, physical and emotional therapy facilities, adult day care and nursing homes.

JJurgle

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My dogs and have volunteered with several organizations and canine assisted therapy by far stands out in all areas! Professional, fun, organized and super friendly. I highly recommend them.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I started my role with Canine Assisted Therapy as a volunteer and eventually was asked to be on the board. This is my first experience being a "Board Member" in addition to being a volunteer. I have worked for many business which running a nonprofit is very similar and I have to say Canine Assisted Therapy should be in Forbes 500 for a company that is innovative, going above and beyond a typical Pet Therapy Organization. The structure and follow up, customer service, testing, evaluating all outstanding. I have grown so much as a person volunteering for the amazing organization and my dogs love the work!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was introduced to CAT over one year ago and was impressed with their mission and selfless dedication to bring smiles to people's faces when they are most in need. The volunteers spent endless hours to make sure their dog is properly trained to visit hospitals, Rehab Facilities and Nursing Homes. I am a big believer in the healing and rehabilitative powers of a dog. But as with many great organizations passion alone will not let it grow to its fuillest potential. This is a group that I hope to one day see in every major city in the US. CAT is the most thorough organization when it comes to taking care or proper training of their volunteers and dogs as well as proper Back Ground check to ensure the safety and privacy of the individuals they have contact with.