HISTORY OF THE COMPANION ANIMAL PROGRAM
The Companion Animal Program was founded in Orleans, MA in 1986, by a small group of pet owners. They wanted to visit another friend who was in a rehabilitation unit at what is now Terraces of Orleans. Since she was a dog lover, they asked if they could take their dogs. Because of the interest of other patients, they were not allowed to leave until they had visited most rooms. From this humble start, a pet-visiting program was initiated to serve nursing institutions, day programs and special needs schools on Cape Cod.
The growth of CAP from that informal group to the present day organization has been phenomenal. CAP is now a formally organized, non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charitable corporation, serving the entire Cape Cod area. It is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors with a formal set of by-laws. CAP has grown to over 200 members with approximately 130 Therapy Teams visiting more than 50 facilities including schools, libraries, community college, skilled care facilities, hospital and day and residential programs for those with disabilities.
The effectiveness of our program is well established, and recognized as therapeutic and life enhancing. The membership has steadily increased, but remains a group of dedicated volunteers known as Therapy Teams. CAP now offers training for pets and their owners in order to maximize the benefits to those we visit.
The Companion Animal Program is indebted to the founders of the CAP program. Nancy Porter, Prue Terkerian, Jean Warren, Helen Elliot and Jo Hammond who took an idea, implemented it, and prepared the foundation for the success of the program as it is today. As a result of their dedication and unlimited efforts, CAP has evolved into an organization respected for its quality and therapeutic use of pets.
CAP acknowledges all of its members whose hard work, thoughts, and ideas have contributed to the development and refinement of the Companion Animal Program. When it comes to enhancing the well-being of our population we serve, nothing is more important than a continuing commitment to CAP’s mission.