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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

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

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



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.


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.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As an owner of a doggie daycare in Fort Lauderdale, I have the distinct pleasure of enjoying the company of one of C.A.T.'s dog's in my facility for daycare. She is one of the most well behaved dogs when she is with us, and I can only think that her behavior is due to the careful training that C.A.T. has done on her. If the dog, April, is any indication of how these dogs behave after going through training at C.A.T., then any facility that welcomes these dogs are in great hands. April is a kind and sensitive dog and gives the best attention when she is around. I salute Debra and her team for such a great job on her dogs and hope we can have more of them at our facility in the future.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a trainer who among other things teaches and evaluates dogs for therapy programs. C.A.T. is my favorite therapy program because they think about how the dog feels doing their work. C.A.T. supervises clients with their dog, runs a class A program and brings light and love to those needing therapy dogs. Rose Lesniak C.D.T.