About CANINE THERAPY CORPS

Our Programs

CANINE THERAPY CORPS programs serve a wide variety of populations.

Advocate Children's Hospital

Outpatient Pediatric Therapy

Our volunteers work in the Yacktman Pavillion, providing animal-assisted therapy within outpatient pediatric therapy services. Volunteer teams work one-on-one with young children and their therapist. In this exciting program, the therapist works directly with the volunteer to identify goals within the speech, occupational and/or physical therapies for each young client.

Billy works with Anna in therapy at Advocate's Pediatric Outpatient Therapy program.
(Photo courtesy of Joy Schmoll)

Pediatric Oncology

CANINE THERAPY CORPS volunteer teams visit children and their parents who are at the hospital for various cancer treatments or tests, providing pleasant companionship and a welcome distraction from the reality of their visits.

Ralph and Kaitlyn bond in Advocate's Hematology and Oncology Department.
(photo courtesy of Reporting for Service)

Ariella Joy Frankel Keshet Day School

This program, located within the Sager-Solomon Schechter Day/Middle School in Northbrook serves children aged 5-13 years old on the autism spectrum, some with physical disabilities as well. Program goals include improved communication, sensory processing, and social skills. CTC is proud to have developed a portfolio of proprietiary materials for use in our programs for children with autism and other cognitive and developmental delays.

 
A Keshet student and Libby go for a walk.
(photos courtesy of Joy Schmoll)
A Keshet student grooms Billy.
 

 

Chicago Children's Advocacy Center

Our volunteers visit with children, who have suffered sexual abuse and assault, awaiting appointments with treating professionals at a multidisciplinary facility.

Easter Seals Autism Therapeutic School

This program, which started in January 2009, is designed to meet the varying needs of students on the autism spectrum. Goals include improving sensory processing skills, social and communication skills and memory, as well as activities for daily living and increased impulse control. CTC is proud to have developed a portfolio of proprietiary materials for use in our programs for children with autism and other cognitive and developmental delays.

An Easter Seals student feeds Buddy
(photos courtesy of Joy Schmoll)
A student uses their choice board with Dori.

 

Haymarket Center

CANINE THERAPY CORPS teams work with chemically dependent men, women and adolescents in rehabilitation, some of whom are in residence as an alternative to serving jail time. The program follows our award-winning curriculum developed to improve communication skills, anger management, self-esteem and self-awareness. During this eight-week program, participants work with the dogs on progressively advanced obedience and agility, culminating in a graduation where each participant demonstrates proficiency in dog handling. The program helps to break the cycle of crime, personal violence and neglect that often accompanies substance abuse.


Front row (from left): Lila, Fannie, The Dude, and Rou
Back row (from left): Kayla, Zoe, D.Vinci, and P.Casso
(photo courtesy of Steve Grubman)

Heartland Alliance

Visitation with teenaged boys, temporarily residing at two group shelters for unaccompanied, immigrant minors, awaiting repatriation or reunification with their families.

Jesse Brown VA Medical Center

A psychosocial program for veterans being treated for a myriad of mental illnesses, such as chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, severe depression, and other mental illnesses, at the hospital's outpatient psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery center. Simply stated, participants' work with our dogs is empowering. There are infinite parallels between successful dog handling and coping with life's peaks and valleys. In order to build a strong bond with a dog, one must be patient, consistent, flexible, and perseverant, but also caring, understanding, respectful, and fair. Each participant works with one therapy dog throughout the curriculum, using obedience and agility exercises, as well as trick training, to cultivate their relationship. Typically, when participants begin, they do not fully comprehend the inextricable link between their own behavior and therapy dog compliance. As the curriculum progresses, so, too, does participant impulse control, confidence, and perspective - key recovery components.

Lawrence Hall Youth Services

CANINE THERAPY CORPS teams work with adolescents and teens with severe emotional and behavioral problems at this not-for-profit child welfare agency. The program follows our award-winning curriculum developed to improve communication skills, anger management, self-esteem and self-awareness. During this eight-week program, participants work with the dogs on progressively advanced obedience and agility, culminating in a graduation where each participant demonstrates proficiency in dog handling.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Volunteer teams visit inpatients at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehsive Cancer Center.

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Our program at this prestigious facility works with clients of all ages who are recovering from head trauma, spinal cord injuries, burns and a variety of other catastrophic occurrences. Volunteer teams use agility equipment and other recreational techniques to motivate clients to regain mobility, strength, balance and the ability to lead independent, productive lives. This is the site of the published research study on the impact of animal-assisted therapy on ambulation.

From left: Jersey, Prada, Giza, Sherman, Baguette, Emma, Dubs and Turner
(photo courtesy of Joy Schmoll)

Swedish Covenant Hospital

This program began in April 2006 as part of the Planetree Initiative for patient centered care. CANINE THERAPY CORPS volunteers work with adult rehabilitation patients selected by the inpatient allied health supervisor from the general population of the inpatient census at the hospital. The goals of the program include increased functional balance, range of motion and upper extremity strength, increased mobility and endurance for increased independence, and to provide socialization opportunities while recovering from physical trauma. In addition, the program provides exercises to address cognitive and visual perceptual tasks.

Caeli retrieves a ball for her patient.
(photos courtesy of Lumen Photography)
Siena and her patient.
 

 


Statistics

We have more than 60 active volunteer teams working in programs across the Chicagoland area, and each year we provide over of 1,400 hours of therapy AT NO CHARGE TO ANY CLIENT OR FACILITY. We have many more volunteers without dogs who assist in our programs, collect data on our successes, prepare our quarterly newsletter, recruit volunteers, plan special events and ensure that CANINE THERAPY CORPS remains an innovative and exciting organization.