The Companion Animal Program is an all-volunteer, tax-exempt 501(c) (3) charitable corporation. Our mission is to enhance the quality of life of our Cape Cod residents. Although originally organized to serve the older and disabled population, CAP has expanded its mission to additionally serve children and youth in library, school, college and related settings. CAP continues to work with those who live or participate in out-of-home, day and residential and hospital programs. CAP provides the enjoyment and therapeutic support of trained and certified companion animals; visiting pre-approved sites (see our list on the Members page). Pets and their owners become Therapy Teams following rigorous preparation and testing to meet safety standards of behavior and excellence in the field of pet therapy. These are not service dogs. These are pets, now certified Therapy Dogs, belonging to our members, who share their love with the population we serve.
Before pets are welcomed into our formalized program there must be an acceptable standard of behavior to insure client safety. Pets are first screened for appropriate physical well-being and behavioral stability. Owners are specifically trained as handlers to work in a therapeutic setting. Together pets and their owners become Therapy Teams that are re-evaluated at least every two years to insure the highest levels of care. Experienced volunteers supervise every visit and each facility is screened for compatibility.
BENEFITS OF ANIMAL
Our therapy visits have resumed but some are still suspended due to COVID19 restrictions. We are always thinking about the very important people that we visit and our dogs are looking for their favorite humans and their regular visits. We require that all of our member are vaccinated for COVID19 and comply with the individual policies of the facilities we are visiting. A list of the adult visits is located on the Members page with notation of those facilities not yet open to our therapy visits.
We are a therapy dog organization which visits hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living, schools and libraries. If you are looking for a Service Dog or Emotional Support dog, there are two service dog training organizations in Massachusetts: https://neads.org (978) 422-9064 and http://indogswetrust.org(914) 222-3647.
We are now taking applications for Winter Classes starting on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at 3:30pm at Joseph's Obedience Training and starting on Thursday,April 6,2023 at 6:00pm at Chatham Dog Club. Please go to the Training page to complete an application and payment online.
CAP relies completely on membership and charitable donations. Please help us to provide over 5,000 therapeutic visits each year by making a tax-deductible donation. Membership renewal for 2022-2023 year is due August 1st! Go to the Join page to complete your membership or renewal application online.
Or make checks payable to Companion Animal Program and mail to:
COMPANION ANIMAL PROGRAM, INC.c/o Treasurer
P.O. Box 453
Chatham MA 02633
Thank you for your support!
The effects of animal assisted therapeutic activities have been well-documented and proven, including improved physical and emotional health. Therapeutic and life enhancing rewards result when volunteer Therapy Teams interact with those in institutional and other out-of-home settings. Interaction encourages communication, reduces feelings of isolation and stress and gives the individuals a sense of importance and value in a way that, perhaps only an animal can accomplish.