Service of Volunteer West Island

CARING PAWS ANIMAL THERAPY is a service of Volunteer West Island (VWI), a provincial non-profit organization located in Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec.  Our certified therapy teams, consisting of a volunteer-member and his or her therapy dog or cat, visit hospitals, retire-ment residences long-term care facilities, adult day centres, community living centres, women’s shelters, colleges and universities. Our child-certified teams visit these facilities as well as working in our reading program in schools, libraries and other children’s centres.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is composed of five members: 

Team Leaders: Barbara Paul - West Island

                     Sally Bochner - Montreal

Children’s Coordinator: Rhonda Amsel

CEGEP, University programs and Corporate Coordinator: 

CPAT Steering Committee Responsibilities:

  • Monitors and reviews CPAT guidelines
  • Controls and resolves conflicts and differences of opinion
  • Reviews yearly objectives and priorities
  • Oversees and reviews finances
  • Maintains volunteer lists and membership eligibilities and requirement
  • Considers and evaluates risk management strategies

Who we are

Steering Committee


Mac with Collegial Sainte-Anne students


The mission of Caring Paws Animal Therapy is to develop, promote and offer animal-assisted therapy using dogs and cats to contribute to improving the health and quality of life of individuals of all ages and conditions.

Sally Bochner

Dog: Willy

Team Leader for Greater Montreal

Since February 2014

Rhonda Amsel

Dogs: Ozzie and Wilson
Responsibilities: Children's program Coordinator - schools and libraries and children's hospitals

Barbara Paul

Founder and Team Leader for the West Island.

Since 2004