Several months ago we heard about a need for foster families for service dogs in training from 4 Paws for Ability. The fosters are required to socialize the dogs and take them everywhere someone with a service dog might go. My niece was waiting to get her own dog, so we knew how important it was for the pups to be properly trained. We decided to apply. We were sitting in the facility for my niece's service dog graduation when we got an email saying they had a dog that needed a family for a few months. We had no idea we would be bringing a dog home that day, but when we met Armani, we knew we could not say no. While we were waiting in the lobby for our supplies, we were so impressed at how the trainers, volunteers and other employees would come up to Armani, and we were even more impressed at how excited he was to see them. It was obvious that the 4 Paws staff was wonderful to these dogs. After the 3 months of fostering him, we took him back to be evaluated and found out he would be placed in advanced training and be specifically trained to help a child or a veteran. 4 Paws for Ability provides everything a foster family needs to care for the pups while they have them, so we are not responsible to pay for anything. The money from this contest could help them care for and train more dogs for those who really need them.
Review from #MyGivingStory
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
A great organization doing great work! We have been puppy raisers for 6 months and love the experience!
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.
I have had two fosters with this organization and love helping these pups along their journey. 4 paws is a great organization to support.
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.
My son just received his seizure alert multipurpose service dog in June. We can't say enough wonderful things about 4 Paws. The whole training class was amazing, and we absolutely love his new dog Bridget. She is going to change his life and ours in so many ways. We are so grateful to 4 Paws for everything!
Wonderful organization with a wonderful team of staff and volunteers!
I was introduced to this organization several years ago when we approved our son's developmental pediatrician about obtaining a service dog. Our doctor's response was "4 Paws for Ability is the best group", and we applied. The best part is the after-placement training support. Trainers are available for questions, concerns, and support even after leaving the on-site training. Our doctor was right - 4 Paws for Ability is the best group!
My husband and I have been puppy raisers for almost 2 years. This is one of those organizations that really allow the volunteers that serve to get "as much" as the recipients. The dogs that 4 paws breed for this amazing journey are absolutely fantastic and teach the volunteers a lot about love, patience and loyalty. We have also learned so much about the families that are the recipients of the dogs. The dogs not only help the children and veterans but can change the entire family's lives. When you walk into 4 Paws you can also sincerely feel the love that all the employees have for the dogs and the organization. 4 Paws is absolutely wonderful for both the volunteers and those who receive the dogs.
Being a puppy raiser for 4 Paws for Ability has been one of the best experiences in my life. It is an honor to be able to be a small part of making children and veterans' lives better.
I joined 4 Paws as a University Program foster and the experience, people, and dogs have been amazing. The program is a great way to build experience working with dogs as well as help build a potentially life-changing opportunity for someone else.
I am so thankful for the opportunity that 4 Paws has given me.. being able to be a volunteer and foster Momma for such wonderful dogs is true gift. The work that 4 Paws does to make families happy is incredible. Thank you for all you!!
We have two sons that have autism. When we decided to pursue obtaining a service dog for them 4 Paws was great at taking the time to answer all of our questions. Before we even decided to use the services of 4 Paws we had an very specific question. They transferred us directly to the CEO in order to obtain the most accurate answer.
Since deciding to use 4 Paws, they have been with us every step of the way. Not only helping with inquiries related to a service dog, but by providing an amazing support group. The journey of getting our boys the service dog they needed was hard, but 4 Paws in staying with us throughout the entire process.
As the dad of two autistic boys, this nonprofit has been there with support since deciding to obtain a service dog. We were able to quickly get the information we needed to make a decision on how a service dog would assist. Once we decided that a service dog was the way to go, they have provided constant support.
Top notch organization!!! This company partners with its clients from day 1 and is committed to its dogs and families for life!
Great organization! The trainers are phenomenal. They love their families and are committed to each family and dog.
This organization has changed my life for the better! I am a college foster, and my time spent with the dogs and learning about all the dogs can be trained to do has opened my eyes up to the world around myself. This organization changes lives for the better, and I am so thankful to be a part of it.