About Chenny Troupe

Our Programs

Chenny Troupe programs serve a wide variety of populations.

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Chenny Troupe's program at this prestigious facility works with clients of all ages who are recovering from head trauma, spinal cord injuries, burns and a variety of other catastrophic occurrences. Volunteer teams use agility equipment and other recreational techniques to motivate clients to regain mobility, strength, balance and the ability to lead independent, productive lives. This is the site of the current research study on the impact of AAT on ambulation.

Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital and Care Network

Volunteer teams work with clients of all ages recovering from head trauma, spinal cord injuries, or other body shattering injuries, many of which are a result of acts of violence. Using games and agility equipment, clients are able to regain strength, mobility, motivation and the skills to return to their families and jobs.

Swedish Covenant Hospital

This program began in April 2006 as part of the Planetree Initiative for patient centered care. Chenny Troupe volunteers work with adult rehabilitation patients selected by the inpatient allied health supervisor from the general population of the inpatient census at the hospital. The goals of the program include increased functional balance, range of motion and upper extremity strength, increased mobility and endurance for increased independence, and to provide socialization opportunities while covering from physical trauma. In addition, the program provides exercises to address cognitive and visual perceptual tasks.

Rice Center of the Children's Home and Aid Society

This facility is home to 45 children, ages 7 - 14. The children have been removed from their homes because of severe abuse and/or neglect or because their families are unable to manage their emotional and behavioral issues. The program focuses on helping children learn to manage anger and frustration, improve communication skills, develop trust and self-confidence and learn to be a cooperative and contributing member of a community.

La Rabida Children’s Hospital and Research Center

Chenny Troupe has developed a program for children with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, other motor impairments, sensory processing difficulties, communication and/or behavioral disorders. These conditions may be caused by either illness or traumatic injury. Participants work one on one with a volunteer team and a therapist on age appropriate games and activities that challenge minds and bodies and provide a tangible and fun reason for communication (with immediate positive feedback).

Haymarket Center

Chenny Troupe volunteers work with chemically dependent pregnant women in rehabilitation, some of whom are in residence as an alternative to serving jail time. The program follows Chenny Troupe’s award-winning curriculum developed to improve communication skills, anger management, self-esteem and self-awareness. The participants work with the dogs on obedience, agility and grooming tasks, culminating in a graduation where each participant demonstrates proficiency in dog handling. The program helps to break the cycle of crime, personal violence and neglect that often accompanies substance abuse.

Somerset Place

This 450 bed, intermediate care facility serves adults suffering from mental illness. Chenny Troupe provides a tested AAT curriculum to help clients reduce stress and tension, and improve communication and social skills as well as problem solving abilities. People who find it difficult to form attachments to people have had great success at relating to Chenny Troupe dogs, and through them, to the volunteers and other people.

Stone Institute of Psychiatry, Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Volunteers work in an inpatient, short-term, acute care unit for adults with various stages of cognitive dysfunction. This program is designed to help the clients return to the highest level of independence possible given their particular level of illness. Volunteers work one-on-one with adults who may be uncommunicative, delusional or depressed. Exercises include cognitive skills, such as remembering a string of commands as well as physical activity, such as walking with the dogs or teaching the dog simple tricks.

Lutheran General Hospital

This pilot program began in September of 2006. Chenny Troupe volunteers work in the Yacktman Pavillion, providing animal assisted therapy within the outpatient pediatric therapy services. Volunteer teams work one-on-one with the young child and his therapist. In this exciting new program, the therapist works directly with the volunteer to identify goals within the speech, occupational and/or physical therapies for each young client. Clients will work with volunteer dogs weekly for nine sessions.



There are more than 65 active volunteer teams working in programs across Chicago, where we provide an average of 4,000 hours of therapy WITH NO CHARGE TO ANY CLIENT OR FACILITY. We have many more volunteers without dogs who assist in our programs, collect data on our successes, prepare our quarterly newsletter, assist in volunteer recruitment, plan special events and insure that Chenny Troupe remains an innovative and exciting organization.