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57 Reviews
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October 31, 2013

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October 31, 2013

I began volunteering with PawPADs 3 1/2 years ago. I knew immediately it was an organization that I wanted to be part of. I saw the passion and commitment that Linda and Randy had for this labor of love and felt an instant connection with them and the dogs. Seeing puppies come and trained dogs go can be hard at times......we grow to love them so!!........but we know what the objective/goal is - to provide well-trained dogs that will help change a life for someone. I do feel that I GET more than I can GIVE. I agree totally with others that said the PawPADs volunteers and staff are like family. I love going to "work" 3 mornings a week to be with the dogs and be with my second family! Linda and Randy always listen to our thoughts, ideas, and concerns. Together, we do hope to make a difference in lives that need hope, help and lots of love (doggie kisses!). I plan to be a volunteer with PawPADs for many years to come!!

More feedback...

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

October 31, 2013

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October 31, 2013

I can't say enough about what PawPADS has meant to me and my students! While we have had an animal-assisted intervention program at Kenwood Trail Middle School for quite a few years, last year was our first working with the Project YES staff, and it was clearly our best year yet. The staff is dedicated to helping others, and their hard work has resulted in smiles, enthusiasm, and motivation on the faces of our students.

The PawPADS and Project YES team is clearly a class act, and I look forward to working with them for many years to come!

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 31, 2013

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October 31, 2013

This is an awesome organization run by exceptional people. Our son was matched with a wonderful lab and they are absolute best buds. It has been amazing to watch them grow together. Pawpads helps so many families and I wouldn't hesitate to refer anyone to them. They train amazing pups!

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 31, 2013

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October 31, 2013

I am writing to express my sincere thanks and appreciation for all of the work and dedication of the Project YES staff. The 2013-2014 school year, marked our 9th year of running an Animal Assisted Intervention program at Kenwood Trail Middle School. While it was our first year working with the Project YES team, it was by far our best!

Our program is made up of male and female students in 6th, 7th and 8th grade who have social-emotional and/or behavioral disabilities. They have more obstacles than their peers and we have always felt they were in need of out of the box support and programming to meet their individual goals in life. Our students quickly became fans of the service animals in training that came weekly to our school. I lost count of how many times during the week students would ask “is it a dog day,” “are the dog’s coming Thursday?”

While most of our students had been exposed to dog’s from our former programs we saw quickly the student’s increased motivation and interest in working with dog’s that would eventually be placed with to help someone with a disability. Our student’s seemed more invested in training the dog’s “correctly” and showed ownership in their work. I have numerous anecdotal stories of student’s growth as a result in working with our four legged friends. Students improved their frustration tolerance, communication, and team work as a result of training the dog’s for a higher purpose.

Our program’s success would not have been possible without the professionalism, expertise, and flexibility of the amazing volunteers and staff working with Project YES. Our partnership with PawPADs for the past three year has added so much to our program. The entire staff is top notch and doing great work.

I look forward to continuing our partnership with PawPADs and the Project Yes team at Kenwood. It has been a phenomenal year and I am grateful to all of the staff that made this possible.
Photos

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 4, 2013

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1 previous review
July 6, 2012

My first experience with PawPADs was as a volunteer more than two years ago. From that first day as a volunteer to today as a volunteer and board member I cannot say enough great things about this or... more

October 4, 2013

As a board member and volunteer for several years now I have witnessed firsthand the difference PawPADs is making in the lives of clients, students and volunteers. PawPADs diabetic alert dogs work each day and night alerting their partners to drastic changes in their blood sugar levels giving them and their loved ones one more layer of security and confidence. Other PawPADs service dogs aid their partners with everyday tasks from picking up dropped items to steadying them while they walk. In the past few years I’m happy to say PawPADs has also grown and expanded to include two prison programs in Sandstone and Duluth, MN. Inmates in both these facilities train service dogs with a dedication and enthusiasm they would never have an opportunity to express without the PawPADs prison program. This is why I think PawPADs changes lives each and every day.

It is my hope that after reading this and other reviews on this site that you feel inspired to help PawPADs grow by supporting us with your tax-deductible donation. Your donation will support these and future efforts at PawPADs and help change the lives of those in our community.

More feedback...

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

July 6, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

My first experience with PawPADs was as a volunteer more than two years ago. From that first day as a volunteer to today as a volunteer and board member I cannot say enough great things about this organization. The commitment of Linda and the other staff is unrivaled in their drive and dedication to better the lives of people with physical disabilities and other medical conditions with the help of K9 partners. In the past few years PawPADs has grown from one litter of rescue dogs to an organization with two prison training programs, several school programs and a variety of other community outreach initiatives. Their work has touched the lives of veterans, school children, prisoners and volunteers alike with the help of the human K9 bond. The easiest part about volunteering at PawPADs is meeting new puppies and knowing what a huge difference they will one day make to someone who just needs some four legged assistance in their lives. The hardest part is saying good bye to those once puppies as they start their new lives with their human partners. Getting started at PawPADs is easy attend an information session and experience for yourself what a difference a few hours of your time can make.

More feedback...

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?

2012

October 2, 2013

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October 2, 2013

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!

Ways to make it better...

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.

More feedback...

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

October 2, 2013

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October 2, 2013

I have been assisting the PawPads organization for several years now and have witnessed first hand the important impact these wonderful dogs have on the lives of their trainers and the folks that they are placed with upon completion of their training. The results and the impacts of the process are priceless for those they touch.

More feedback...

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

September 9, 2013

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September 9, 2013

Eric L:

PawPADs is a great organization to volunteer for!!!!! Linda and Randy are awesome and will drop everything to help the dogs and volunteers. I have volunteered ever since I had the training class in 2012 and I enjoy every min of it, I would never have imagined I would give so
much of my time to this great organization but this is an awesome program, And I will continue to donate my time to PawPADS as long as they allow me to.

Thank you Linda & Randy for allowing me and my fellow puppy parole officers the opportunity to participate in this program….

Ways to make it better...

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

MORE PUPPYS !!!!!

More feedback...

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

September 5, 2013

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1 previous review
July 1, 2012

PawPADs, not only enriches the lives of those with whom the dogs are placed. The benefits of the canine-human bond extend to everyone who participates in the programs offered, as well as to those of ... more

September 5, 2013

PawPADs is a small organization, making a big, positive impact on the lives of many.

One of the differences that sets PawPADs apart from other service dog organizations are the programs we offer. One of my favorites is a Social Integration Therapy (SIT) program where we have been working
with an elementary school for the past two years. I worked with special education students and with students who did some on-on-one reading with dogs. The dogs helped to motivate students to work on tasks that might otherwise feel daunting: such as the child that had many tantrums when it was time to work on range of motion tasks from his wheelchair, but would happily push a block off his tray in exchange for a dog kiss from Recon after he retrieved the block and brought it back to the tray and the student who was not confident reading aloud and who, by mid-year was reading loudly and with great expression to Hero, Ranger, Iko and others. The student’s faces would light up when they saw the dogs and actually, so did the faces of the staff members! There were times when teachers would stop by just to get their “puppy fix” and they commented that, “they really needed that,” and that it would help them get through the rest of the day. The dogs are positively impacting many lives before they are even placed with their partners.

I feel very lucky to be part of the PawPADs family, to be able to work with the dogs – and reap the benefits of the human-canine bond and to be a part of a wonderful organization that enriches the lives of many people.

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

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

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

July 1, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

PawPADs, not only enriches the lives of those with whom the dogs are placed. The benefits of the canine-human bond extend to everyone who participates in the programs offered, as well as to those of us who volunteer.

Volunteering at PawPADs has been very therapeutic to me; I enjoy
working with the dogs, the directors and the other volunteers.

When I first started at PawPADs, my shifts were two days a week for about a couple of hours each. Working with Linda and Randy and seeing their devotion to the dogs and their mission to not only train and place service dogs but also to develop programs that enable others in the community to work with the dogs and reap the associated rewards, has inspired me to come to the training center more and more and it has become a place I want and need to be. I see and feel the passion and it is contagious.

When I initially inquired about volunteering, one of my first questions was whether or not there would be other volunteers on my shift because I had just come from a situation where I was volunteering alone and it was an uncomfortable experience. Linda responded that I would definitely not be alone and that some of the other volunteers even stuck around after their shift to visit and enjoy coffee. It’s true, some of the other volunteers and I have become friends, and we socialize after getting our work done and even when we’re not at the training center. I have come to think of PawPADs as a second family.

Going to the training center, training the dogs on my own and working with students in the school programs has been very rewarding. I cannot help but get excited when the dogs respond to a command and seeing a student light up when the dog works for them feels even better. I am extremely fortunate to be a part of this organization and the great things we do!

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the recovery from a bout of severe depression and maintaining balance in my mental health.

More feedback...

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

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I have grown up with dogs as companions; however, I learned how to work with dogs in a way that I had not completely experienced before. Training the dogs via strictly positive reinforcement has been a positive experience. It is rewarding to work with the dogs and see them respond when given a command has been very powerful.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

I feel empowered, that I make a difference and that I have a purpose and a passion. I feel more fulfilled than I did in my career of 12 years. I felt lost and now I feel like I have something to give and to people and and organization where it is appreciated.

November 15, 2012

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November 15, 2012

I am the Director of Operations/Development here at PawPADs.
I want to share a little about our Volunteers, Donors, and Supporters, and Clients: the people that really make PawPADs successful and make a difference in so many lives.
As we all know from our own experiences with people,
personal relationships can go a long way. These relationships increase our understanding of the people we work with, give us insight as to their motivations and capabilities, and develops mutual trust. Our “family” has gone far of their way to develop personal relationships with PawPADs, and we all share a joint vision of what we are and where we are headed. I hope you’ll share the vision too after reading our reviews.
Volunteers: many of our volunteers have been with us for months or years. Some came looking for a “one off” opportunity or a short term commitment and have become a family. Their “can-do, will-do” spirit is a valued attribute of Americans and sets a great example to all our neighbors. They have devoted thousands of hours…time off from work, weekends, mornings, evenings, holidays, day time…to caring for our service dogs, training them, and representing PawPADs in the public. They build and clean and laugh with each other and the dogs. Their commitment, teamwork, and enthusiasm energizes us!
Donors: The average cost of raising and training a service dog is between $20,000 and $25,000. Because of generous supporters like them, we're able to partner our service dogs with those who need them at minimal cost or for free. Their financial support provides the resources needed to team with our prison and school partners, veterans, and those with developmental and physical challenges. From individuals to foundations, families, organizations, and companies, their contributions in any amount plays a crucial role in getting the dogs from puppy to partner. It demonstrates yet another American quality: the spirit of generosity. Your generosity and good will inspires us!
Clients: Our clients’ lives are enriched and empowered by their partnership with skilled assistance dogs and diabetic alert dogs. Inmates, teachers, students, and veterans utilize the power of the human-canine bond as a therapeutic, educational, healing tool. We create powerful, life-enhancing experiences through working with dogs - as the very act of working with, being around and training these dogs can be therapeutic and life-altering in profound ways. Their confidence in PawPADs encourages us!
If not for all of the above, there would be no PawPADs. I sincerely hope that you, as a review reader, find what you are looking for in a nonprofit in PawPADs and want to become part of our family of Volunteers, Donors, Clients. Thanks, and Dog Bless You!

More feedback...

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

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?

2012

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