Canine Assisted Therapy

Location: Oakland Park, Florida

Date Founded: 2009

Contact Name: Elise Samet


9dc Give Amount: $514


Update: Please meet the team that the 9DC sponsored!

We're pleased to introduce you to Teagan Fiore and her therapy dog Lala, who were just certified! Teagan is a teacher and has two other Golden Retrievers. They are going to be a great team serving the Southeastern Florida community! 


Although we may not think about it very often, animals are an essential part of the human experience. We obviously use them for all sorts of resources and services. But more than just using animals, we have a very natural way of connecting with animals as well. The mere presence of some animals such as dogs, cats and horses can have a powerful and positive effect on the psychological and emotional state of mind. It is so powerful that Psychologists and therapists are using “animal assisted therapy” to improve any combination of human cognitive, physical, emotional and social functioning. Studies have shown that Animal Assisted Interventions can:

  • Lower an elevated heart rate
  • Reduce high blood pressure
  • Reduce anxiety levels

Who is Canine Assisted Therapy?

In short, it is amazing what animals can do to help reduce anxiety levels and perhaps most importantly, put smiles on faces at a time when people are either suffering or going through a difficult time. So with this in mind, for our June Give, the 9dollarclub is thrilled to have the opportunity to team up with a wonderful group called Canine Assisted Therapy, a nonprofit organization in Fort Lauderdale, FL dedicated to improving the lives of those in need. 

“C.A.T.” works with volunteers and their dogs to provide animal assisted therapy and companionship to people in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospice, and schools. From children’s reading programs to working with veterans, C.A.T. has expanded its services to help people from all walks of life. Reaching more that 300,000 people per year, the impact of the volunteer therapy teams is tremendous. 

We have recently had the great pleasure of meeting Elise Samar, who is the program manager at Canine Assisted Therapy. In addition to telling us about all the different types of services that C.A.T. performs with their growing group of volunteer teams, Elise also told us that C.A.T played a major role in providing dogs as therapeutic release and connection for students after the tragic shooting at Marjory Douglass Stoneman High School in Parkland, FL. 

What Did We Give?

Elise talked to us about all of the work and training that goes in to preparing their volunteer teams for their assignments. It is more than a month long process that includes training and evaluation for both the volunteer owner and dog. After talking with Elise and seeing the incredible impact C.A.T. has on hundreds of thousands of people each year, we knew we wanted to help. So we are very excited that the 9dollarclub will be fully sponsoring the next volunteer team training for C.A.T. Once in place, this volunteer team will likely touch and support more than 2000 people per year through many of these same programs. We love the idea that your $9 donation will continue to impact people for many years to come in such a positive and important way. Thank you! 

To learn more about C.A.T. and the programs they have developed, please visit their website 

We will be sure to send updates as the new volunteer team completes they training programs. We can’t wait to meet our pup!!

"9dollarclub" is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization registered in Virginia, United States