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April is Service/Therapy Animal Month













Since 2013, the FT Cares Foundation has donated over $72,600 to various organizations dedicated to helping humans through service, therapy and emotional support dogs.


The pictures on this page are from the time Fox Valley Therapy Club visited First Trust with a few of its canine good citizens (and Certified Therapy Dogs) who visit schools, hospitals, nursing homes, etc., spreading love the way only dogs can! Ember, below right, and one of the dogs we named through our association with NEADS, is showing how she can get "up" on cue, one of many tasks she can do to help her family member reach things, etc. Ember (and Trusty, another NEADS dog we sponsored and named) are service dogs.

Having pets is a joy for millions us. But what if your life, and the activities you do, are impossible without a service animal?

That’s why the Foundation has set April’s theme as: Service/Therapy Animals!

Here are a few of our partners (all of which we have donated to for several years):

  • Fox Valley Therapy Dog Club

  • National Disaster Search Dog Foundation

  • NEADS World Class Service Dogs (Trusty & Ember!)

  • Canine Companions for Independence

  • Canine Therapy Corps

  • Ready Set Ride Therapeutic Recreational Facility

  • Austin (TX) Dog Alliance

Spotlight On: Canine Therapy Corps

Canine Therapy Corps ("CTC"), located in Chicago, has been working alongside professionals in the fields of health care, education and social services since 1991, helping people recover from physical and emotional trauma.

According to CTC, 1 in 5 people live with a disability; over 20 million adults have difficulty in at least one area of functioning and 61% of men and 51% of women report exposure to at least one traumatic event


The foundation of CTC's successful animal-assisted therapy programs is the "strength of the human-animal bond, which encourages and empowers individuals facing and overcoming personal challenges."

The MISSION AND BACKGROUND of Canine Therapy Corps:

  • Empowers and motivates individuals to improve their physical and psychological health and well-being by harnessing the human-animal bond;

  • Provides goal-directed, interactive animal-assisted therapy services free of charge using volunteers and certified therapy dogs; and

  • Advances animal-assisted interventions through research and collaboration


Americans LOVE their pets!

According to the AVMA’s U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook, 38.4% of American households have a dog (1.6 dogs, to be exact). 25.4% of households have a cat (1.8 cats), 2.8% of households have birds and 0.8% have horses. The total number of these animals in the U.S. is as follows:

Dogs: 76,811,305

Cats: 58,385,725

Birds: 7,538,000

Horses: 1,914,394


According to PetKeen, approximately 23 million U.S. households added a pet between March 2020 and May 2021. Fortunately, 90% of dogs and 87% of cats adopted during the pandemic were still with their owners in May 2021. Some fun facts:

  • 60% of U.S. pet owners are female

  • Millennials are the generation most likely to own pets, accounting for 32% of all pet owners (followed by Baby Boomers at 27%, Gen X at 24%, Gen Z at 14% and Builders at 3%)

  • 85% of dog owners and 76% of cat owners consider their pets family (no surprise to all of us who have pets!)


How do investors look at the animal industry? These stats might help (Information from American Pet Products Association, 3/24/21.






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One of our Own, Becky Bennett, works through Canine Therapy Corps with clients of Haymarket Center, which houses adults in a residential substance use disorder recovery program. She and her Kelpie mix, Jae, have been working with CTC for 6 years. They have also worked with patients at Rush University Medical Center, providing immediate and continuous positive feedback in animal-assisted therapy sessions. Watch here to see the result of one of the lives transformed thanks to Becky and Jae! The Foundation thanks Becky and Jae and Canine Therapy Corps, which will receive a donation during Service/Therapy Animal Month.