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Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Training, Animals, Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Health, Human Services, Rehabilitative Care

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).

Community Stories

23 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

9

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Comments ( 1 )

Randy 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!

5

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Comments ( 1 )

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Randy 04/05/2015

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.

Previous Stories
4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Comments ( 1 )

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rpatrick 11/05/2012

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!

Beth A.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Comments ( 1 )

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rpatrick 11/05/2012

Beth, your dedication and enthusiasm humbles us! Your commitment and dedication exemplifies the true American spirit of volunteerism. You’ve made a huge difference here at PawPADs in every conceivable way: training and caring for the dogs, creating a school program for the dogs to work with elementary school kids, and on and on...Thank you!

1 John91

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PAWPads staff and volunteers are awesome and fun to be around. My intention was to volunteer for roughly 3-6 months. But when I started getting to know Linda, Randy, and also the service dogs I realize that this is something I want to do for a very long time. I've been volunteering for over 2 years and will continue to do so for many more years.

Comments ( 1 )

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rpatrick 11/05/2012

The teamwork and enthusiasm of all our volunteers energizes us! Their "can-do, will-do” spirit is a valued attribute of Americans and sets a great example to our other volunteers. They have devoted hours and hours of their time off and weekends to caring for our dogs, training them, and representing PawPADs in the public. We couldn't exist without our volunteers! Thank you!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I cannot find words to adequately express how amazing PawPADS is as an organization. The various programs touch so many people's lives. I have diabetes and have experienced the dogs-in-training, working, receiving 'alerts' 20 minutes before my low blood sugar registers on my glucometer. This is EXCITING. Linda and Randy are welcoming, appreciative and really care about people and the puppies/dogs (all creatures). Their positive approach to life, their organization and training is contagious.

Comments ( 1 )

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rpatrick 11/05/2012

Your confidence in PawPADs encourages us! We value and appreciate advice and insight from people like you, Renee, as it takes a lot of resources to keep our programs running and get our dogs placed with persons with disabilities. You are truly making a difference in people's lives - as our dogs make their ways into service with those with disabilities.

1 K  P

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PawPads has been a huge part of my life recently! The dogs are so wonderful, but even more wonderful are Randy and Linda who run the day-to-day operations. The positive attitude, encouragement, and fabulous pups that we get by interacting with this organization has really enriched my life and that of my family. We are super lucky to get to contribute to shaping the lives of the dogs and those of future people in need through this organization. I'm also noticing that I say "yes! thank you!" a lot more! :)

Comments ( 1 )

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rpatrick 11/05/2012

Your teamwork and enthusiasm energizes us! Your “can-do, will-do” spirit is a valued attribute of Americans and sets a great example to our other volunteers. You have devoted hours and hours of your time off and weekends to caring for our dogs, training them, and representing PawPADs in the public. The Prison Road Puppies program relies on people like you, Kathy, to work as well as it does. Thank you!

1 Nathan P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PawPADs is a great organization to volunteer with. Linda and Randy are great leaders and will drop everything to help the volunteers and the dogs. I have volunteerd over 1,000 hours in this organization and I love every minute of it.

Comments ( 1 )

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rpatrick 11/05/2012

The commitment and work ethic of our volunteers impresses us! The Prison Road Puppies program relies on people like Nathan to work as well as it does. His efforts demonstrates the true American spirit of volunteerism. Each and every one makes a huge difference in the training and lives of the service dogs and those impacted by them. We can't say enough "Thanks!"

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The wonderful staff at PawPads have impressed me with their overwhelming dedication and drive to bring assistance dogs to the people that need them. Attached is a group picture of some of our hardworking trainee dogs.

Comments ( 1 )

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rpatrick 11/05/2012

Your teamwork and enthusiasm energizes us! Your “can-do, will-do” spirit is a valued attribute of Americans and sets a great example to our other volunteers. You have devoted hours and hours of your time off and weekends to caring for our dogs, training them, and representing PawPADs in the public. The Prison Road Puppies program relies on people like you, Amy, to work as well as it does. Thank you!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A friend introduced me to PawPADS a few years ago while we were volunteering together at a different non-profit. I was immediately inspired by the passion of Linda and Randy. I found out it was more than training service dogs for people with disabilities. School programs, the prison program and other community interests fill their days. Their positive approach to the dogs and the volunteers keep me coming back and I have learned a lot about how therapeutic a dog can be.

I truly look forward to my volunteer days at PawPADS. The volunteers are highly valued and our input and ideas are always welcome and encouraged. I also feel fortunate to volunteer with an amazing group of people (& dogs!)
I do get attached to the dogs, but the positive feedback puts me at ease when I hear about their new lives.

Comments ( 1 )

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rpatrick 11/05/2012

Your confidence in PawPADs encourages us! You are truly making a difference in people's lives - as our dogs make their ways into service with those with disabilities. Thank you!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started out at PawPADs in 2010 as a dog walker and now I've learned so much that I feel comfortable doing almost any task that might be asked of me. The people that run it are absolutely wonderful teachers (and just plain wonderful!). I have volunteered for many years at different places and PawPADs is by far the very best because of the people (incl. other volunteers) and atmosphere of the place- there is so much fun to be had and anyone that wants to volunteer can settle into whatever position they feel comfortable in. I highly recommend this organization to anyone looking to support a nonprofit in any way. They're real people with real values helping people in need by training great assistance dogs that really do change lives.

Comments ( 1 )

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rpatrick 11/05/2012

The commitment and work ethic of our volunteers impresses us! It sets a great example to our fellow citizens and youth. Each and every one makes a huge difference in the training and lives of the service dogs and those impacted by them. We can't say enough "Thanks!"