*An advanced evaluation and certification is required to work with children
Read-a-thons and Pack Reader Programs
These programs were developed to help children build reading skills under the attentive ear of a canine companion. It’s especially useful for students who have low self-esteem, are shy about reading aloud, or learning English as a second language.
Kids in Judicial Care
Having to appear in court can be an uncomfortable experience, especially for children. But having a therapy dog present inside and/or outside the courtroom provides much-needed comfort and relief. Therapy teams are required to complete the Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Training to participate in this unique and rewarding program.
Each year C.A.T. partners with Central Bark to provide Bite Prevention education to elementary school children. By teaching kids how to properly interact with dogs, we can help decrease the number of preventable dog bites.
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, “More than 50% of nursing home residents have no living close relative, and it is estimated that 60% of nursing home residents have no visitors.”
C.A.T. provides senior services to hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospice organizations. The benefits of a canine visit can have life-changing effects that improve one's overall health and quality of life. Activities performed during visits include petting, brushing, walking, or simply snuggling. These activities help keep seniors engaged and gives them individual purpose, while at the same time lowering stress levels and promoting socialization.
C.A.T.’s therapy teams work with psychologists, social workers, and counselors to provide support to veterans during individual and group counseling. The mere presence of a therapy dog is proving to be very beneficial in helping veterans cope with issues related to PTSD and other disorders. Therapy dogs also provide motivation and support to veterans in rehabilitation and medical facilities, as well as those in skilled nursing care and hospice.
Individuals with Special Needs
Implementing structured contact with animals can be a great addition to educational and/or behavioral treatment plans. C.A.T. works with organizations to provide pet therapy services based on individual goals. Although volunteers are in great demand for this, not all dogs and handlers are suited for this specialized work so successful completion of both Basic and Advanced Evaluations are required.
From time to time C.A.T. participates in fun community events, such as Dog Expos, Health and Safety Fairs, and other special occasions. Therapy teams attend these events as ambassadors of the organization and help recruit new volunteers.
College and Corporate Stress Relief
C.A.T. therapy teams make special visits to college campuses during mid-terms and finals week to help decrease stress and anxiety levels. Therapy teams also visit corporate businesses to help boost employee morale and relieve the pressure of work. Considerable research has indicated that when people interact with pets their cortisol levels (stress hormones) decrease while endorphins increase. This makes pet therapy at college campuses such a healthful idea. Lower stress = greater performance!