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4 Paws For Ability Inc

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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

149 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

4 Paws for Ability has not only changed my life as a puppy raiser, but has changed thousands of lives, including the 1,350 children and veterans who have received service dogs from 4 Paws. Iā€™m thankful to be a part of this amazing program

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

About 3 years ago I moved states and began college at the University of Kentucky. I knew not a single person at this school let alone in Kentucky. I became part of 4 Paws for Ability at UK and began fostering service dogs in training and it has truly changed my life. This program gives individuals with disabilities a second chance at life. 4 Paws for Ability has changed so many individuals with disabilities lives, but this program has also changed my life. This program has taught me respect, patients, time-management, selflessness, and so much more, but above all, this program has taught me to give unconditional love to a service dog in training, keep it for months, and then allow it to move on to do bigger things and know that this dog will do amazing things in an individual with a disabilities life and I was a small part of making that huge process happen. 4 Paws for Ability has helped me become a better person and it is truly one of the most amazing programs!

Tobias63

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having seen the impact of 4Paws for Ability from multiple sides: as a foster puppy raiser; part of a family that raised funds then went through training and now have a placed service dog in our family; to seeing many 4Paws Dogs in action and the highly skilled trainers teaching, the impact of this nonprofit is simply amazing!

These dogs are trained to changes lives and they do everyday! Depending on the strengths of each dog and the needs of the client matches are made and children with autism find a way to take part in the world around them because their dog is at their side. Many dogs are trained in tethering and to track, helping parents whose child tries to run from or hide from the overwhelming stimulations brought on by life.

Those with medical issues have the comfort of assistance and an alerting dog for diabetes or epilepsy. Vets with PTSD have the comforter that help them face their challenges.

All this through a community of well trained staff and a huge volunteer force who believe in the ā€œ4Paws Magic,ā€ it make such a difference to everyone involved!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was introduced to 4 Paws for Ability just over a 2 years ago when a family member was fundraising for a service dog for their son with autism. Now as a volunteer puppy raiser, and with a placed service dog in the family, I have seen the full range of the incredible process and high standards that is 4 Paws for Ability. From intentional breeding of only the very best dogs exhibiting the required traits and strengths, to the socialization that further separates these dogs from others. The advance training and evaluations that match dogs to their forever clients is nothing short of incredible! These dogs are life changing to their placed families, and life changing to the many loving hands that prepare them for their service. I can't speak high enough of 4 Paws for Ability and all they do for those they serve and their precious pups!

Shannon G.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

We were so blessed by 4 Paws for Ability Inc. Our son received and we trained with his autism assistance service dog in 2005 after we completed our fundraising goal. She was an amazing asset to our son but more so his best friend. The love she provided along with the service made such a difference my sons life. She gave comfort, love, companionship, provided opportunities for socialization while in public and so much more. We had Hannah for 12.5 years (she just recently passed at 13.5 years old.) Our lives were forever touched by this amazing agency and our black lab, Hannah.

Review from Guidestar

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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

1

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!

1

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.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!!