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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Training, Animals, Autism, Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Disabilities, Health, Human Services

Mission: Provide companionship and promote independent living for children and veterans with disabilities.

Programs:

Autism Assistance Dogs

Most requested and most often placed, Autism Assistance Dogs have the ability to track a child that has wandered off, keep the child with the caregiver in public, and are trained to respond to a child’s repetitive behaviors to stop the behavior(s).

 

Hearing Ear Dog

Assist the hearing impaired by alerting them to the presence of a sound in the environment. The dog learns to respond to verbal and hand signals and work for toys or affection. It is trained to make physical contact and lead someone to the source of a sound.

 

Mobility Assistance Dog

Increase the independence of someone who uses a wheelchair, has trouble standing, and/or with ambulating such as people with spinal cord or brain injuries, Multiple Sclerosis, Spina Bifida, and Cerebral Palsy. These dogs can be taught to help pull a manual chair up a hill and retrieve dropped items among many other tasks.

 

Multipurpose Assistance Dog

A creative solution for someone who does not fit into one category, which includes people with multiple issues or diagnoses such as Down Syndrome, Fragile X, ADHD, or mental health issues.

 

Seizure Assistance Dog

Trained to complete a variety of tasks from alerting to behavior disruption. Seizure medications often cause behavioral or balance issues and the dogs can help to stabilize the child by wearing a harness that the child can hold. The dogs are trained to remain calm in a chaotic environment and can recognize an impending seizure and signal the child's caregivers before it happens.

Community Stories

145 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a foster in the 4 Paws for Ability University Program for 1 year now and I am about to start my second year. I go to the College of Wooster and one of the main reasons I chose the school was because of 4 Paws for Ability.

Snickerdoodle, a golden lab and golden doodle mix, was the primary dog my house fostered for the year and it was the best year I could have ever had! Not only did Snickerdoodle graduate, but he went to a sweet girl who had medical issues and needed Snickerdoodle to help her live a for fulfilling life.

4 Paws for Ability does monthly meetings for College/University fosters to voice any unusual issues they might be having with their dog and to receive advice on how to fix those issues as well as it gives fosters a chance to ask general questions and receive feedback that could be helpful for other fosters. I bring up these meetings because everytime I went with my foster dog, Lynn Agee, our University Program Coordinator, has been very patient and understanding of our issues and ensures that we are all socializing our dogs in the best environments possible as well as makes sure the dog's health is top priority.

I would like to conclude by saying that every couple meetings I attend at 4 Paws headquarters will include a story of a family whose life has changed because of 4 Paws for Ability. And every time I hear one of those stories, I put all my stress from the homework, tests, and paperwork that 4 Paws for Ability requires us to keep up to date on aside and remind myself that by if I am able to get our foster dog to graduate (which I have already done once and hope to do again next year), I am helping not just the person who needs the dog, but also their family who may be looking after that person.

I thank 4 Paws for Ability for showing me that fostering and socializing a potential service dog is more than just taking it to different places and having the dog meet new people. Foster and socializing a service dog is one step closer to giving a child or veteran with medical disabilities a new chance at living a fulfilling and happy life. I will forever be grateful for having the opportunities that 4 Paws provide in helping achieve this goal.


Client Served

Rating: 5

4 Paws is amazing! They are so helpful and so supportive throughout the entire process of getting one of their life changing service dogs! Very knowledgeable and informative as well. They for sure go above and beyond!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

4 paws for ability is such a great organization! I was privileged to foster a puppy for 2 semesters in college and loved every moment of it. I've loved watching the organization grow and hearing the stories of families who receive service dogs. 4 paws is really making a difference all across the country!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Sydney and her 4 Paws best friend Lexus have been together since the June class of 2013. I have never seen such professionalism and the service dogs are absolutely amazing.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter received an Autism Service Dog last year, this wonderful animal can track my daughter by scent if she wanders, provide heavy weight compression when she needs it and also behavior disruption by the dog witnessing a specific (harmful to herself) the Service Dog knows to engage our daughter (nuzzle or paw) asking for attention instead. The quality of training is beyond compare, our family had a trip that required air travel this past week and my daughters service dog was better behaved then the police working dogs.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A great organization doing great work! We have been puppy raisers for 6 months and love the experience!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a foster for 8 service dogs in training for 4Paws and puppy sitter for even more, and I have seen two of my pups so far placed with loving families, with another currently in training. These service dogs change lives for the better, and I have seen it firsthand. 4Paws is able to place service dogs with their partners quickly so that the people in need don't have to wait longer than necessary, but the dogs are also trained by fantastic trainers so that only the best dogs graduate.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had two fosters with this organization and love helping these pups along their journey. 4 paws is a great organization to support.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I fostered two service dogs in training with 4 Paws for Ability through their college foster program. It was truly an amazing experience. I've never seen a community join together like 4 Paws has. I'm so blessed to have been a part of it, and hope to continue fostering!

Client Served

Rating: 5

We will be getting our daughter's service dog in April 2018 through 4 Paws for Ability! When I was researching service dog companies I found 4 Paws for Ability and decided if I was raising quite a bit of money to go to a non profit I wanted to visit first. So we came right after the new building was done. We got to tour the building, see all the dog areas, offices, training, outside areas. They were fantastic, explained everything. Even let us go visit the current class that was training so we could see what we would be experiencing.