Get unconditional support

“I am so privileged to witness the amazing connection between participants and animals as part of the Community Mental Health program at Cummings,” says Erika-May Pasmore of Khalizoo Zootherapy. “Animal-assisted therapy helps both younger and older seniors struggling with various emotional and psychological mental health challenges.”

Reassurance of the animals

When Fluffy the pig, Mia the dog or Odin the cat, to name just a few of the companion animals working at the Centre enter the room, participants are immediately at ease. Avid animal lover Gerald Gould, instantly feels better, “So many of my burdens are lifted.” Petting a cat allows Mini Greenberg to relax and relieve her daily stress. “Holding a cat calms me down and helps a lot.”

Something for everyone

Pet Therapy is just one component of the comprehensive mental health program provided at Cummings. Clients are followed by case managers through Social Services engaging in various therapeutic opportunities such as Creative Arts Therapy (art, music and drama) and Therapeutic Cooking. “Pet Therapy is an integral part of our program, reaching many clients who would not necessarily come out to other programs,” says Rosanna Magnone, Program Manager, Mental Health.  “Animals provide total unconditional support, reaching participants in a very special way.”

The Cummings Centre’s mission is to empower and enhance the quality of life of adults age 50 and over by providing dynamic and innovative programs, social services, and volunteer opportunities in a vibrant, respectful, inclusive and compassionate environment. Building on its Jewish heritage, Cummings embraces people from all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.

As the hub of Montreal’s 50+ community, the Centre touches the lives of 10,000 people on an annual basis. In addition to its main campus at 5700 Westbury Avenue in Montreal, programs are offered at several off-site locations including the West Island, Cote Saint-Luc, St.LaurentWestmountChomedey and Florida.

For more information, please contact us by phone at 514-343-3510, online at or in person at 5700 Westbury Avenue.