About Chenny Troupe


More than a decade ago, Catherine Lawler often took her dog, Chenny, to visit her ailing mother in a nursing home. Chenny, a yellow Labrador retriever, always evoked responses from the residents. People who were otherwise not responsive to other stimuli would react to Chenny, reach out to pet her or ask about her breed or her health. Everyone would look forward to her visits. Ms. Lawler decided this was no coincidence and began to research animal assisted therapy with her business partner, Frances Ann Rohlen.

After studying other programs, Chenny Troupe was launched with a group of sixteen dogs and their owners. Chenny Troupe's first program began in November, 1991 at the Abraham Lincoln Centre, a day program for individuals with physical and emotional challenges. Since then, each of its programs has been carefully designed to meet the requirements of the special needs population to be served. Close to 20,000 individuals have benefited from Chenny Troupe programs since it began its creative and innovative work. At any given time, as much as 75% of Chenny Troupe's client base consists of members of the medically underserved population in Chicago and at least half are children.

Chenny Troupe has never charged any client or facility for its services. Our ability to continue our innovative work without charge is totally dependent on the generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations. Chenny Troupe is a 501(c)(3) organization, and as such, contributions to Chenny Troupe are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. We welcome your support.


2002: La Rabida Children's Hospital and Research Center named Chenny Troupe the Outstanding Volunteer Organization of the Year.

1998: Chenny Troupe was awarded the Amoco Leaders Award in the category of Health, and received a $50,000 grant in recognition of the program work at City Girls/Interventions, a teen girls treatment center.