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Pawsitive Perspectives Assistance Dogs (Pawpads)

Rating: 4.98 stars   62 reviews 3,371

Nonprofit Issues:

Animals, Children & Youth, Health, Human Services

Address:

9877 234th Street East Lakeville MN 55044 USA

Mission:

To enrich the lives of people with disabilities by providing them with exceptionally skilled assistance dogs; To utilize the power of the human-canine bond as a therapeutic, educational, healing tool.

Results:

Our prison programs are highly praised by corrections staff and inmates for bringing a sense of hope, responsibility, and work-ethic to their lives; allowing them to give rather than take. We've placed our diabetic alert dogs with families and veterans and service dogs with veterans homes and persons with disbalities.

Target demographics:

All persons with physical mobility disabilites, Type 1 and 2 diabetes, Veterans experiencing PTSD, at risk youth, federal prison inmates.

Geographic areas served:

MN, WI, IO

Programs:

Prison Road Puppies (Service dogs servin' time - inmates training service dogs) Project YES! (At-risk youth training service dogs while learning responsibility and leadership) SIT Program (In-training service dogs interact with developmentally disabled children and adults). Paw Corps (The dogs that come when called for the veterans who went when asked - veterans struggling with PTSD and reintegration issues train service dogs for veterans with physical disabilities).

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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More Info

(612)643-5671
http://www.pawpads.org

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Reviews for Pawsitive Perspectives Assistance Dogs (Pawpads)

Rating: 5 stars   Featured Review

8 people found this review helpful

My husband is a wounded warrior...he lost a leg in Afghanistan and struggled with a lot before we got in touch with PawPADs a couple years ago. We were eventually partnered with Barkley just over six months later. Barkley is a dog who was rescued from a shelter and trained in a prison by PawPADs. Barkley changed our lives. There is not a piece of medical equipment on the planet that can do what this dog does for my husband. Barkley has given him a best friend and companion to share not only his struggles and hard times but his successes too. PawPADs has given us something we hadn't had in a few years and that's encouragement. Barkley can turn on the lights and pick things up but the best thing he does is watch out for and take care of my husband. The support we have received from PawPADs is beyond anything we have ever known. This is a nonprofit that is not only changing lives but changing the world while helping wounded warriors like my husband. I would give them more stars if I could.

 
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(Nonprofit Staff) wrote:

Your confidence in PawPADs encourages and inspires us! The very real-life challenges faced by Calvin and yourself are humbling. We appreciate your feedback and encouragement...Thank you! You both are inspirational role models for wounded warriors and the families that support them. Dog bless!

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Kali is a School Resource Dog who assists me in my role as a Licensed School Counselor in 2 elementary schools. The knowledge that Randy and Linda have about their dogs is incredible. The skills that PawPADs has taught her are amazing. Kali helps kids going through divorce, grief, anxiety, conflict resolution and she gives students something to look forward to. Thank you for all you do!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

PawPADs is such a great organization. They are wonderful to work with, are truly passionate about their cause, and really make a difference for people!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Milo has changed my life. It's so wonderful to have help with my diabetes. With a combination of his alertness to my blood sugar changes and the technology of my continuous glucose monitoring system, my low blood sugars are caught before it becomes necessary to get medical help. We're a great team!
People always say what a good dog he is, how mild mannered he is, and how beautiful he is, so he's a wonderful help to me by just hearing all the positive things people say about Milo. All the smiles he brings my way wherever I go are just another way he makes my life awesome!!

 
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

PawPADs is so much bigger than the individual humans who run it! The dogs change lives through their training -- from the youth at-risk and inmate trainers who have learned valuable lifeskills such as emotional regulation, self-control, giving back to the community and communicating effectively to the individuals whose lives are made better through the partnering with a service dog or a diabetic alert dog! PawPADs is not a numbers-focused organization, it's not all about how many assistance dogs can get placed -- it's about what's best for each individual dog, what's best for the program participants and, in the end, is the person they are being matched with the best possible match! The future looks exciting as PawPADs facilitates the magic of the human-canine bond in innovative and special ways!

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

PawPADs is a labor of love! I know because, as the founder, it became my dream while working overseas in 2005. After attending the Assistance Dog Institute (now Bergin University of Canine Studies) for an AS degree in Assistance Dog Training I began the long journey of building an organization that I am extremely proud of!

I believe that the PROCESS of training these amazing dogs holds incredible therapeutic and educational value and it has been a joy to see those results time and time and time again whether it be with:

- the emotionally damaged Vietnam Veteran rolling around on the floor with a dog and joy in his heart
- the child unknowingly completing his physical therapy by walking and grooming a dog
- the adolescent on the verge of getting kicked out of school for the day due to repeated temper tantrums sitting calmly reading to a dog and, again unknowingly, releasing oxytocin (a calming hormone) through their system as they pet the dog
- the inmates who are became not only more humane, but more human, through the process of training their dogs, giving back to society and making a positive difference!

All of these populations are learning life lessons through the magic of working with our dogs -- they are learning emotional regulation, self-control, empathy, parenting skills and a myriad of other lessons.

And, after the worry and joy, the challenges and triumphs, the highs and the lows, to hear from the partners of the dogs we've placed sharing what an impact the dogs have made .... well, it continues to make my heart sing!

I'm EXTREMELY proud of PawPADs .... I take great pride in our ethics, our ethos and all of the hard work that EVERYONE involved with creating this organization has undertaken!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

wish that more resources were available so that a few people didn't have to wear so many different "hats" .... allowing people to focus on what their strengths are.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I am a disabled veteran and Pawpads went out of their way to find the right dog for me that would help. I have only had him a few weeks, but already he has helped me so much with so many little things that are so hard to do on my own. He has made my life so much easier. Pawpads also offers support whenever we need it.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

My husband is a severely disabled veteran and a client of PawPADs. He sustained significant brain damage that has left him paralyzed on his left side, unable to care for himself, and with a seizure disorder. Because of these issues, my husband requires full-time care and supervision. There is no way to sugar-coat the losses he and our family have suffered. It's hard, draining, and, at times, very ugly. The realities of war live with us every day and no aspect of our lives goea unaffected.

PawPADs came into our lives at a time when I was feeling extreme fatigue and doubt as a caregiver. Our local veteran community referred us to PawPADs and our lives haven't been the same since. Despite years long waits for a service dog at other organizations, PawPADs was able to get my husband into their training camp within just weeks of us starting the application process. The staff IMMEDIATELY made us feel like part of the PawPADs family and of something very special. Since Ranger was placed with my husband, our family has changed in ways I never imagined possible. Because of the supervision and assistance Ranger can provide, my role has been scaled back. For the first time since his injury, I've been able to leave my husband home alone and know that he's safe. I've been able to let him go out into the community on his own and know that Ranger is beside him to help him. I've seen Ranger in action and know that if my husband falls, Ranger can either help him up or he can go get help (both of which he's done on multiple occasions). I don't think we've ever gone somewhere (and we go a lot of places) without getting comments on Ranger's remarkable demeanor, his impressive obedience, his obvious intelligence, and his instantly loveable personality. He's truly a remarkable dog but PawPADs turned him into an invaluable companion.

Without Ranger, my husband wouldn't have the independence he has today. Neither would I. Ranger adds a level of safety and security to our lives that I am immensely grateful for. He is my husband's safety net and my peace of mind. I cannot imagine our family without him or where we would be if he didn't come into our lives. Thanks to PawPADs and to Ranger, I get to spend more time being a wife instead of being a caregiver. There are no sufficient words to thank PawPADs for giving back to us some of what war took.

 
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(Nonprofit Staff) wrote:

Your confidence in PawPADs encourages and inspires us! The very real-life challenges faced by Patrick and yourself are humbling. We appreciate your feedback and encouragement...Thank you! You both are inspirational role models for wounded warriors and the families that support them. Dog bless!

Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

I was a volunteer on a canine care team for two years and have been a board member for four months. It has been highly rewarding expanding my role and helping PawPADs meet the needs of our clients, dogs, staff and donors. For dog lovers, I can suggest no more important volunteer opportunity. For potential donors, your money will be wisely used to raise and train wonderful canine partners for our clients. We, dogs and staff, are a big, happy family (I know it is a cliche....but true). It has been the best volunteer gig of my life.

 
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(Nonprofit Staff) wrote:

John, your “can-do, will-do” spirit is a valued attribute of Americans and sets a great example to our other volunteers. You represent PawPADs in the best possible light and that light reflects back on you as a person. Your commitment and work ethic impresses us! As a new Board Member, your thoughts and values are important to the organization as we work to make our donors trust well placed.

1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I have volunteered at PawPads for eight months and have greatly enjoyed every minute of it.. I am on the Saturday morning canine care team where we feed, groom,train, exercise and play with the dogs and puppies. The Directors, Board Members and Volunteers are a close-knit family. We are all asked for input in many levels of PawPads operations including dog-training, event planning, cost-control, fund-raising, volunteer recruitment and others. I have met and worked with incredible people, and the interaction with the dogs is life-changing. I would highly recommend PawPads as a wonderful place to volunteer.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
Flag review
(Nonprofit Staff) wrote:

John, your “can-do, will-do” spirit is a valued attribute of Americans and sets a great example to our other volunteers. You represent PawPADs in the best possible light and that light reflects back on you as a person. Your commitment and work ethic impresses us!

Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I am currently serving as the secretary on the Board of Director's at PawPADs. My first opportunity as a Board member was to coordinate an appreciation dinner for the ‘backbone’ of the organization: the volunteers. At the event, I was able to meet many of the volunteers and I was amazed at their dedication to the mission of PawPADs – to train service dogs for people with a variety of disabilities. Under the guidance of the Executive Director, Linda Ball, the volunteers keep the dogs fed, groomed and socialized every day of the year. In addition to meeting the volunteers, I have also had the pleasure of meeting clients who now have a service dog and the benefits the dog has brought to their lives. For example, the diabetic alert dogs are able to tell the person when their blood sugar is low, giving the person the chance to check their blood sugar and treat it without having to resort to emergency measures. The dogs accompany the clients everywhere: home, school, work, etc. It is truly amazing what these dogs are capable of, and I am so proud to be a part of this organization!

 
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(Nonprofit Staff) wrote:

Joan, your “can-do, will-do” spirit is a valued attribute of Americans and sets a great example to our other volunteers. You represent PawPADs in the best possible light and that light reflects back on you as a person. Your commitment and work ethic impresses us! As a new Board Member, your thoughts and values are important to the organization as we work to make our donors trust well placed.

Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I have been a volunteer with PawPADs since 2011 and I am in my 2nd year as a member of the Board of Directors. I have had the great pleasure to see just how this organization changes lives through their many programs, some of which including working with veterans and youth at risk, as well as the clients with whom our dogs are ultimately placed.

PawPADs has touched so many lives in so many different ways thanks to the leadership and vision of Executive Director, Linda Ball.

I am so proud to be part of an organization that strives to make the lives of others better, four paws at a time.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

PawPADs is a great organization and I'm proud to be associated with it! They take a main goal, training service dogs for people with physical mobility disabilities and Diabetic Alert Dogs, and use that to help a variety of people from veterans, to inmates, to youth at risk. I love the idea that the act of training is used to help others develop in their lives and the end result is enriching the lives of people with disabilities.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

PAWPads is a great organization to volunteer at. My previous volunteer organziation shut their doors and I thought I'd never find a place I enjoyed working at more, until I met Randy & Linda. They welcomed me into their organization and I instantly felt like we'd been friends for life. As I learned more about their organization and all the different groups, from kids to vetrans to inmates, they help I knew this would be the place for me. They do great things with their dogs and for other people and I look forward to every day I get to work there.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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(Nonprofit Staff) wrote:

Yvonne, you've been a volunteer for many months here at PawPADs and your commitment and work ethic impresses us! Your “can-do, will-do” spirit is a valued attribute of Americans and sets a great example to our other volunteers. You've devoted hours and hours of your weekends to caring for our dogs, training them and walking them. Thank you, and we look forward to many many more months!