about us


    Who We Serve

Skilled Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Centers. Living in a long term care facility can be lonely.  Many residents have had to give up their pet when they moved to these centers.  They are eager to re-connect with a pet and remember the love they had for their own animal, whether it was as a child or an adult.  Our teams often establish a continuing connection by visiting the same facility on a regular basis. We have seen our residents just "beam" a smile when we walk in the door.  

Hospice Care. Someone nearing the end of life draws comfort and solace from the visit of a therapy dog.  The dog can help divert the person's attention from his illness, if only for a little while.   This also creates special memories for our visiting teams.

Hospitals.  A hospital stay is often very stressful, and painful.  A therapy dog can help the patient deal with the emotional issues related to their illness.  The dog allows the person to focus on something other than themselves and their pain, and this can help motivate them in physical therapy and other exercises.  The dogs also provide a much needed break for the staff, who are delighted to spend a few moments greeting and petting the dogs.

Libraries. We visit several libraries in the area through the Read2Rover program.  Children love to read to our dogs - what could be more fun than an attentive, lovable dog that listens to your every word?  Many parents have told us their child has advanced at least one grade in reading class as a result of these programs.

At this time, we are at capacity and cannot schedule new recurring visits at facilities.  We are located in Richmond, VA. For special events, please contact Mary Gregory at gregorymaryg@gmail.com about the availability of teams.


How We Began

Caring Canines is an all volunteer therapy dog group, founded in September 1999 by Donna Henley. We started with just a handful of friends who were interested in trying this fun kind of work. To date, we have over 120 dogs in our group.

Mission Statement

Caring Canines' goal is to help provide emotional support, comfort, encouragement, enable independence, and experience both the fun and health benefits that dogs bring to our lives. We are an extremely dedicated volunteer group that brings great joy to the people we visit, our dogs, and to ourselves.