Canine Assisted Rehabilitation for the Elderly, or C.A.R.E. NC was founded by Dr. Julianne Davis, of Quail Corners Animal Hospital in Raleigh NC. C.A.R.E. NC is a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming shelter dogs into therapeutic visitors for the elderly of Wake County. In this way, their mission is two-fold with the aim of increasing adoptability of these dogs while motivating senior citizens through the healing power of pets.
The idea for the non-profit was actually spawned from her adopted dog, Chief, an extremely loving and affectionate German Shepherd, who Dr. Davis realized would make a perfect fit for service work. Soon after, she began taking him to Spring Arbor Assisted Living facility in Raleigh in early spring of 2011, “The experiences we had with the elderly changed everything. What if shelter dogs could be transformed into visitors for the elderly while they are waiting to be adopted? The behavior training would not only increase their adoptability but enrich the lives of the senior citizens. It’s a WIN-WIN!”
C.A.R.E dogs are currently therapeutic visitors at 4 facilities throughout Wake County. Dr. Davis noted that starting a non-profit organization has been an enormous amount of work, but the responses received have been amazing. “A visit with one of our dogs is the highlight of the week for many seniors. The dogs help to decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation that many of the residents face daily. Ironically, many of the shelter dogs share these same feelings. As an individual I believe that we have to be the change we want to see the in the world. One person (or dog) can make a difference.”
Though still in the early days, C.A.R.E NC hopes to continue to grow and engage more assisted living communities throughout the region. To learn more about this amazing program and how to lend support visit the C.A.R.E. NC website at www.carencinc.org.