Impy and MarthaChimo Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) is an innovative not-for-profit initiative that assists in the development, planning, and implementation of AAT at a wide variety of facilities.
Many individuals have seen the benefits of Animal-Assisted Therapy when a motivated therapist brings their own animal in to help their clients. At Chimo AAT, we strive to bring those same benefits to all clients. We train all interested therapists and employ means of finding suitable animals to work with them, such as certified volunteer animals.
At Chimo AAT we:
Recruit and certify therapy animals including dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, and mini-horses
Recruit and train volunteers with qualified animals
Train a wide variety of therapists to use animals to help their clients
Facilitate ongoing Animal Assisted Therapy programs in our community
Provide services to assist new facilities in creating and sustaining their own Animal-Assisted Therapy programs
Animals Helping People Heal
Chimo AAT’s mission is to develop and make available effective animal assisted therapeutic services to health and social services providers. Chimo AAT supports effective animal-assisted therapy (AAT) through program development, education and research evaluation.
Chimo AAT’s vision is to be the service provider of choice for animal-assisted therapeutic services in Alberta and recognized as the leading research, education and support resource in animal-assisted therapy in Alberta.
Chimo AAT was founded in 1999 by Dennis Anderson, who at that time, was the President of the Canadian Mental Health Association in Alberta.
Chimo AAT was initially called “The Chimo Project”, and was named after Dennis’s animal friend “Chimo”, a Blue Heeler/Labrador cross.
As Dennis had personally experienced the psychological benefits of human-animal interactions, he aspired to obtain evidence that animals may be beneficial in the treatment of persons with mental health concerns.
The name “Chimo” comes from the Inuit toast for “good cheer”, which is what the project hopes to bring to those suffering from mental illness.