Guess what? We decided to spice up our demo centers in Fargo and Bismarck by adding some furry friends – not the typical coworkers, but companion pets! We wanted to see how they’d affect folks dealing with loneliness, anxiety, or dementia. Well, turns out these little creatures are more than just fluff – they’re like magical stress-busting, anxiety-fighting, and joy-inducing furballs!  

As Giving Hearts Day approaches, anytime between now and February 8th, please consider a gift to North Dakota Assistive to help us continue to help others. Your contribution will assist us in keeping our demonstration centers full of helpful and exciting tools that aid people with so many unique needs. Companion pets are just some of the latest. 

The cat costs about $125. And before you ask, yes, they’ve unleashed a dog version, too! We’d love to get many more of these companion pets into the hands of those who can use them. 

Leo Lenior is pictured seated with a robotic companion cat that he received through an ND Assistive Possibilities Grant. Leo is wearing a red t-shirt and dark pants.


The man in this photo is Leo. He has Alzheimer’s and gets very anxious at times. His caregivers thought a companion cat was worth a try. It’s been an overwhelming success. They tell us when Leo has the cat in his lap they see a visible change in him, he’s calmer and he sleeps better with it by his side. These companion pets move and make real-life actions that mimic a living pet. The cat purrs, meows, lifts its paw, and even rolls on its back. 


Taking these pets to exhibits is like bringing a rock star to a talent show. At an event in Fort Yates a few months ago, the news spread throughout the school faster than a cat chasing a laser pointer. Dozens of students made a beeline for our table. It was a blast seeing their reactions.  


ND Assistive Executive Director Mike Chaussee leans over a circlular table at a tabling event at Standing Rock High School in Ft. Yates. A group of students are gathered around listening to Mike explain assistive technology items on display.

That’s fun, but we truly know these devices are making a difference.  

And many more devices exist that people are not aware of or lack access to. We help connect those dots.

Another recent example of a cool bit of technology came when we received a donation that allowed us to purchase a writing assistant tool that some teachers have been asking us about. They have kids in their classes who want to write on their own but don’t have the mobility or dexterity to do so. This tool allows the kids to participate without having an aid doing the work for them. There’s so much power in independence.

And when a child can do something on their own it’s a huge deal.   

And that’s what we’re all about. Helping people retain their independence and remain in their homes. Your giving helps us fulfill our mission. Together, we can make a meaningful impact on the lives of those we serve.

Thank you for considering a gift to North Dakota Assistive. 

Giving Hearts Day is February 8th, 2024. This graphic has an orange bar code at the center to scan to donate to ND Assistive. The Giving Hearts Day logo is in the upper left, and the ND Assistive logo is in the upper right. At the bottom, in blue text, it reads, "Your gift will help North Dakotans discover independence, hope, and peace of mind.




You can also visit this link to donate online. By sharing a gift with North Dakota Assistive, you can make an impact that lasts far beyond February: you’ll be giving hope, freedom and security back to those in need across the state.

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