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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

11 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!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was truly humbled to be welcomed as a Board Member for this great organization, PawPADs. PawPADs holistic methodology in the process of training, educating the public and thorough partner placement and continued lifetime follow up sets them apart from many other organizations in this extremely beneficial canine service world. Having watched the amazing confidence that not only a canine partnership provides to a client but to the lives that PawPADs touches through the training process and the purpose that it brings to those having difficulties, I continue to be honored to help this organization advance and spread support.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with this organization for the past 5 years and on the board for the past 3 months. I have seen many lives changed with the placement of dogs with people with physical disabilities to diabetic alert dogs and school resources dogs. I think what impresses me the most is enriching lives with the training is just as important as the placement of the dog and the willingness to train rescue dogs. This is truly a wonderful organization with a Director that knows everyone by name and your not treated as just another volunteer.

1 Alan T.

Board Member

Rating: 5

After more than 5 years as a volunteer and a board member for 2 of those years; PawPADs has never ceased to fill me with pride and gratitude. Over those years I have gotten to see the lives that have been changed by the amazing works done by PawPADs. The wounded warriors that have regained self-esteem and been brought back into a more normal life, diabetics that have a fuller and more care-free life, children who are able to be children, peoples with disabilities having greater access to the world around them. and to the people who train and have trained their dogs; life-long changes and benefits far reaching beyond just training assistance dogs. PawPADs changes lives. Here's just one example of the life that's been changed:

Previous Stories
6

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a volunteer for nearly four years and now a board member. I have seen firsthand the great work that PawPADs has done for not only its clients, but also the many participants in their ongoing programs that help troubled youth, veterans and inmates.

I can not begin to describe the amount of good that has come from this organization. It's truly touched many lives and made them better due to the efforts of everyone involved.

I strongly encourage anyone to donate, whether it's time, money or just referring someone who could be helped by our services. PawPADs is a worthy organization that changes the lives of those that they serve and those that take it upon themselves to help PawPADs achieve its Mission, Strategy and Vision.

To find out more about PawPADs: http://pawpads.org/page20aboutus.html
To Donate: http://pawpads.org/page40donate.html
To become a Volunteer: http://pawpads.org/page41getinvolved.html

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2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

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!

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!

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

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!

Comments ( 1 )

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Randy 04/05/2015

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.

4 YHemze

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Comments ( 1 )

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rpatrick 11/05/2012

Your confidence in PawPADs encourages us! The support and efforts of our Board demonstrates a great American virtue: the spirit of cooperation. We at PawPADs appreciate support in any manner, as it takes a lot of work and organization to keep our programs running and get our dogs placed with persons with disabilities.

1 Lynn35

Board Member

Rating: 5

My initial contact with PawPADS began from just a love of dogs. I wasn't in a place where my life allowed me to have a dog so I thought being a PawPADS volunteer would give me a perfect "dog fix". Little did I know how much more this organization had to give. The passion that Linda, Randy and the rest of the staff and volunteers show is amazing! As a board member I have been able to watch from behind the scenes as PawPads has grown and touched lives not only in the local community but throught Minnesota and beyond. Watching the dogs work in their roles be it alerting to a blood sugar or opening a door always gives me to know what an amazing partner they will be for someone someday.

Comments ( 1 )

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rpatrick 11/05/2012

Your confidence in PawPADs encourages us! The support and efforts of our Board demonstrates a great American virtue: the spirit of cooperation. We at PawPADs appreciate support in any manner, as it takes a lot of work and organization to keep our programs running and get our dogs placed with persons with disabilities.