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Canine Assisted Therapy, Inc.

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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

31 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.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I donate money every year to this organization because I see all the good they do and how passionate they are to their mission. I know my donations make a difference!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization is extremely professional and hard working. They helped organize pet therapy visits for a friend of mine and we were very impressed with how efficient and caring they were.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This nonprofit extends comfort to those in need and utiliziing a natural resource, dogs. This is a great organization and I will always support it.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have had other pet therapy organizations provide services to my clients but I will never use them again. Canine Assisted Therapy is by far superior both professionally and in the quality of therapy dogs they provide. I never have to worry about keeping updated information. They do it for me and we are delighted to be partnering with them!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I first became involved with C.A.T. when friends got their dog (one of my dog's best buddies), who was released from the same organization my own hearing service dog was trained due to a minor medical condition, certified as a therapy dog and became volunteers; their "change of career" dog is an EXCEPTIONAL therapy dog. I was invited to one of their many educational presentations at a summer program and since then have witnessed the wonderful work they do and the difference and impact they have in the community.

From reading other posts, you notice a general theme... that C.A.T. has set higher standards, and frankly the standards that should be in place nationwide, for therapy dogs. They have very strict rules and standards for all their volunteers and dogs. Unlike other organizations with questionable standards, any dog wearing a purple C.A.T. vest is known and trusted in its ability and training because of their good reputation. They don't certify just any dog, and if at any point an already certified dog or human volunteer breaks a rule, they are immediately removed from the program because they take the safety of not only their dogs, but also the general public they serve very seriously. They make sure their volunteers are trained and are knowledgeable on all the laws, and they make sure that any place a volunteer team visits is safe for the dogs (and their humans).

In addition, they work hard at also raising awareness and educating the public about these wonderful dogs and the differences between service and therapy dogs, which is often mistaken for one in the same. They not only emphasize pet therapy, but also education as well which is so necessary and important. They encourage their volunteers and recognize the importance of what they do. Their work makes such a difference and has impacted the community very positively. They are always coming up with new programs that enhance their mission, and do/go where many have been scared to go/do. I cannot say enough great things about this organization and their volunteers.

I don't have a therapy dog, but I do have a service dog. I love partnering with them and helping any way I can because I feel it is so important what they do. They are honest, hard working, loving people and dogs... I have received pet therapy myself when I have been critically ill in the hospital. One time I actually started walking again with the assistance of a dog by my side, so I know the value of what they do... LIFE-CHANGING, MIRACULOUS, PRICELESS! And when I have been in need, C.A.T. has gone above and beyond for me, and that has no price.

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

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.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am the proud owner of the 2012 American Humane Association Hero Therapy Dog of the Year.

I only wish I knew about CAT when I had my puppy certified. CAT is incredibly organized and thorough in their evaluations and certifications. The staff has this perfect balance between knowledge and compassion. CAT oozes professionalism and never fails to thank their volunteers for a job well done.

CAT dogs are evidence that not all medicine comes in a bottle.

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.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have met with representatives from this organization in various community meetings. They are always very professional and are held in the highest regard in this community.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I want to be a part of this organization because of all the great work they do. I attended a volunteer orientation and found them to know their stuff, take it very seriously and now I want to be a part of this organization. They take the happiness of the dog into consideration. Other organizations do not consider the dogs happiness.

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.

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have worked with many non-profit organizations and C.A.T. has been one of the BEST! They are professional, up to date with standards, and show a TRUE passion for what they do. They provide a service that lifts spirits, brings back amazing memories, and improves overall well being. C.A.T. is a part of our community and not only assit those who need pet therapy, they help universities with research projets. I cannot say enough about this amazing organization!

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!