Caring Canines Visiting Therapy Dogs, Inc.

Who We Are

Caring Canines Visiting Therapy Dogs, Inc. is an all-volunteer, non-profit canine pet therapy program serving the Boston area.   Established in 2001, we currently have over 100 volunteer dog/handler teams and serve over 60 facilities on a regular basis.

The mission of Caring Canines is to provide exemplary volunteer visits with our dogs to nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, schools and residential programs in an effort to improve the quality of life and emotional health of those served. All Caring Canines visits are free-of-charge. With committed, trained volunteers, Caring Canines is able to expand the therapeutic role that our canine companions provide for those in need.

Caring Canines has been designated as a 501C3 tax-exempt organization.

Board of Directors:

Executive Director:  Sandra Luikenhuis
Volunteer Coordinator:  Gale Halpern
Treasurer:  Sue Wartman

Scheduling Coordinator: Dorsey Arnold
Applicants Coordinator:  Lisa Lewis
Clerk:  Sue Pepin
Registration Renewals:  Karen Stone
Reminders Coordinator:  Jen Piliero
Entertainment Team Coordinator: Lucie Chag

Small Beginnings

Our program started as an informal group of handlers and their registered therapy dogs.  We began visiting together and soon had a steady visitation schedule.  We called our small program "Hug A Pet" as it seemed most descriptive of what we were offering with our four little dogs.

Here are our four founding pet therapists:

Trina, who was particularly fond of friends in wheelchairs