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Therapets Society (Therapets) is a registered charity with the Canada Revenue Agency.

Therapets was founded in 2000 by veterinarians Sonja Kruse and Elijah Thomlinson.

Sonja and Elijah shared an interest in the use of therapy animals for a wide variety of

roles, including hospital visits to children and elderly patients, assistance for individuals

with physical or cognitive disabilities, and companionship for the elderly. They strongly

believed that individuals, and the community as a whole, benefit when humans and

animals can rely on one another's strengths. Therapets began with three board

members — Sonja, Elijah, and Elijah's wife, Laureen, who is a physiotherapist at a local

medical clinic.

In the early years, Therapets managed to raise approximately $100,000 per year from

individual donors and corporate sponsors, and organized a program to have pet owners

— primarily those with dogs and cats — provide volunteer hospital visits to children and

elderly patients. The society also started its Forever Needed program, where therapy

animal trainers visit dogs in shelters to assess their ability to work as therapy dogs.

Those dogs that showed promise were adopted by Therapets and trained for service as

general companion animals for the elderly. These companion dogs did not need the

intensive training of a full-service assistance dog because they were not relied on for

high-risk life assistance; they were only required to be obedient and able to assist in

basic ways such as fetching items on command and maintaining a calm presence.

Sonja, Elijah, and Laureen were elated that the Forever Needed program could save

dogs from shelters and give them a meaningful life as a companion to someone in

need. The bond formed between the dogs and the elderly recipients seemed more

special because the recipients knew they had saved the animal that was there to help

them.

Since its inception, Therapets has grown to have a board of six directors, with an annual

budget of about $2.5 million. The level of funding received annually from donors and

sponsors varies significantly depending on the economy. Sonja has become the

executive director of Therapets and has given up her veterinary practice, but she

maintains her licence to allow her to be the in-house veterinarian for Therapets. The

volunteer visitation program has been taken over by another group, and Therapets'

main focus is now the Forever Needed program. That program still trains general

companion dogs but has expanded to include training full-service assistance dogs for

individuals who are blind, and for children and young adults with a number of other

conditions, such as autism and epilepsy.

Therapets operates its own training centre with paid trainers on contract. After working

one-on-one with the trainers for many hours, an average of 30 dogs per year graduate

and go into full service. The society has developed its own training methodology that

has been very successful, thereby increasing the speed at which the dogs can be

trained for full service. Therapets works with a licensed organization that handles the

process of matching the trained assistance dogs to their new human recipients.

In addition to Sonja, Therapets has two staff members: an administrative assistant, and

an animal caregiver who is in charge of feeding the dogs and keeping their sleeping and

playing areas clean. Several volunteers help keep the dogs happy and healthy, and

assist with basic training for newly rescued dogs that need a large amount of

socialization to reach their potential.

In the past, Therapets' sole focus was preparing animals for placement with their new

recipients. Recently, the society received a large, multi-year government grant to

provide end-to-end services for its assistance dogs and new recipients through the

Forever Needed program. In addition to training, the grant will enable Therapets to

provide education services to potential assistance dog recipients, match assistance

dogs to potential recipients, and provide training to the recipients with their new

assistance dogs. Ultimately, this program is expected to increase the number of

successful dog-to-recipient pairings by providing these end-to-end services and a more

comprehensive and consistent training experience. Therapets is excited about being

directly involved in the process of matching dogs and recipients based on their

individual personalities and needs.

Therapets had been pursuing government funding to enhance this program for several

years but had faced many challenges and setbacks along the way, and there was much

uncertainty during the process. Future funding may also be uncertain depending on the

state of the economy in the next few years and the parties in power at the various levels

of government. For Therapets to continue to receive funding, including funding from the

new government grant and from some of its larger sponsorships, an audit of the society

is required. Currently the financial statements are prepared by a local CPA firm on a

non-audit basis.

As an added challenge, the training centre's neighbours have been voicing concerns

about the noise level of the dogs barking, so the municipal government has been

evaluating the centre's practices and use of its property, to ensure that Therapets is not

in violation of any municipal bylaws.

Therapets has also been asked to act as an advocate for individuals who believe they

would benefit from an assistance dog. In particular, a group of veterinarians called Vets

for Vets has asked Therapets to join them in advocating for better support for war

veterans living with post-traumatic stress disorder. The Therapets board has been

looking for ways to broaden the range of individuals who know about and have access

to assistance dogs, and these advocacy opportunities may provide Therapets with a

way to make this work.


The Therapets board members are excited about the new opportunities coming their

way. The board consists of the following people:

Name Occupation Age Gender Years on board

Sonja Kruse In-house veterinarian, executive 44  Female 20

director of Therapets, and chair

of the board


Elijah Thomlinson Veterinarian 51 Male 20

Laureen Thomlinson Physiotherapist 49 Female 20

Yasid Ghaffour Veterinary student 25 Male 3

Chandra Choudhry Veterinary student 20 Female 1

Darya Ballo Executive director of the local 42 Nonbinary 7

animal shelter used in the

Forever Needed program

Board members have been selected for their match with the society's mission, and their

training and experience in each case has concentrated on animals and health. The

board's only committee is the audit committee, which is chaired by Sonja.

The following appears on Therapets' website home page:

Mission and vision: We strive to provide companion and assistance dogs

whose performance is unquestionably dependable. Our dogs are

professionals that never disappoint!


QUESTION 1 (17 MARKS)

Create a memo in good format for the Therapets board, evaluating the composition

and structure of the board. Indicate at least three strengths and at least three

weaknesses of the current board composition and structure. For each noted strength

and weakness, indicate your rationale for the evaluation. Your rationale for each

weakness should explain what Therapets should do to overcome the weakness. Be

sure to consider the changes being undertaken by the society, as well as the various

stakeholders.


QUESTION 2 (15 MARKS)

With respect to the new opportunities facing Therapets:

a) Perform a PESTEL analysis of Therapets' general environment. You do not need to

identify and analyze each of the six PESTEL categories of macro forces, and you

can list more than one environmental factor affecting Therapets within the PESTEL

categories you choose. For example, you may wish to discuss more than one force

in the "social" or "political" categories (or any of the other categories as you deem

important).

b) For each relevant force or factor you identify, explain how it would positively or

negatively impact Therapets.

c) For each relevant force or factor you identify, recommend what external trends and

information Therapets should monitor as part of its ongoing environmental scanning.

Make a table with the following headers to get started.


Explanation of environmental force(1 mark each, max. 5) Positive and/or negative impact on Therapets(1 mark each, max. 5) External trends or information to monitor (1 mark each, max. 5)


QUESTION 3 (18 MARKS)

You have told the chair of the board that you believe Therapets can benefit from a more

comprehensive set of vision, mission, and values statements.

a) Create a list of notes that explain why a more comprehensive set of vision, mission,

and values statements would benefit Therapets. (4 marks)

b) Evaluate the current mission and vision statement, noting one strength and one

weakness. (2 marks)

c) Draft a new vision statement for Therapets. (2 marks)

d) Draft a new mission statement for Therapets. (2 marks)

e) Draft a set of values statements for Therapets that incorporates at least four values.

For each values statement, explain its relevance to Therapets. (8 marks)

Answer & Explanation
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