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Service of Volunteer West Island

Steering Committee

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, retirement 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.

The steering committee is composed of the following members:

  1. Maritza Benedek – Team Leader
  2. Barbara Paul – Founder and Consultant
  3. Linda Quinn – Dog therapy evaluation assistant and cat evaluations
  4. Martha Hyde –  Dog therapy evaluations, CEGEPS, universities and high schools
  5. Marilyn MacLean – Newsletter and Communications
  6. Marie Léveillé Ghanem – Secretary

Steering Committee Members

Sally Bochner
Dog: Willy
Team Leader for Greater Montreal
Since February 2014

Barbara Paul
Founder and Team Leader for the West Island.
Since 2004

Rhonda Amsel
Dogs: Ozzie and Wilson
Responsibilities: Children’s program Coordinator – schools and libraries and children’s hospitals


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.
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