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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

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, Dogs, Health, Human Services

Mission: 4 Paws for Ability strives to be the leading provider of service dogs for children regardless of disability as well as adult children with caregiver guardianship who cannot live independently. 4 Paws assists Veterans who have given selflessly to our country by providing service dogs that can assist with disabilities on a case by case basis as well as adults living with hearing loss, diabetes, or Alzheimer’s.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 100 people 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

218 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Maggie M.5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

4 paws for ability is a great place to volunteer. I love seeing the way these dogs positively impact the community both through the people the dogs serve, but also by educating and advocating for service dogs in public!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband is a disabled Vet with hearig deficiency. We were given a "hearing ear dog" by donation and appreciate that fact very much. Malachi is my husbands best friend and lets him know when he is needed by someone or someone is calling Bruce's name. We love and appreciate 4 Paws for Ability very very much. Thank you for all you do for kids and veterans.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer with 4 Paws since July 2014. It's amazing to see how much their services dogs improve the lives of children & veterans with disabilities and the lives of their families.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with 4 Paws For Ability for about 4.5 years. I started off working as kennel staff and when it was my time to move on, I knew that I wanted to stay involved. I became a volunteer trainer and have fostered 2 dogs so far. What 4 paws does and what these dogs can do is something magical and cannot be duplicated. I am proud to be part of 4 Paws and will continue to spread the word about this amazing nonprofit.

Client Served

Rating: 5

To say they are life changing is an understatement. My son has a best friend that has improved his life in so many ways and we gained a support network that truly gets it. The staff is extremely responsive and caring. Top notch organization.

Morgan W.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Although I have only been associated with 4 Paws for about a year, I have fallen in love with this organization and what they do to help change families’ lives. I am currently fostering my first pup Tova and even though it can be challenging and frustrating at times, I have enjoyed every moment of it. 4 Paws and it’s volunteer community has never failed to help me when I needed it. If I could give more than 5 stars I would!

Mariah G.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been with the 4 Paws for Ability program for almost two years now and I could not love it more. I'm currently fostering my first foster, Abella, and the magic of 4 Paws is truly alive in her. Love love love everything this org stands for and does

Yvone Rush R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

From start to Service Dog placement, was 3 long years, but 4 Paws was there every step of the way. Their organization is so helpful & knowledgeable. The families they have helped band together to help others. We were never left without encouragement or help. This continues even after service dog placement. There are people to call of help is needed. Families that support you through your new journey. I could not have found a better organization to help my son. Thank you 4 Paws for providing a service that changes lives for the better!

Client Served

Rating: 5

4Paws for Ability is an amazing nonprofit that helps not only families, but has also helped children in school.
In February, 2018 our classroom changed forever as we welcomed Buffy! Buffy is an autism assistance dog.
She is so smart and very intuitive. She loves all her kids and they love her.
4 Paws made this wonderful partnership possible with their caring staff and professional, detail oriented training. These people have a passion for teaching their dogs help the people who need them the most

Emma G.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve been a volunteer trainer for a year and it has completely changed my life. This org has given me such an important support system and even better friends. We all come together for the kiddos and the vets! One day our fosters are going to change somebody’s life just like they’ve changed ours. So proud to be a part of this org! (Picture of me and my current foster Kolita for my “graduation”)

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our family serves as a guardian home for mama breeder. She has a big job, and we are blessed to keep her safe.

Robert R.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

4 Paws is awesome! They work with you through the whole process, and are there even after to help when needed.

Sara F.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Wonderful organization providing service dogs for children with disabilities. We love our Autism Service Dog, Callie, from 4 Paws for Ability!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer trainer with 4 Paws for almost a year now and I cannot express how truly amazing this organization is!

Caysie C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Becoming a volunteer trainer for 4 paws for ability has been one of the best choices of my life! I’m so thankful to 4 paws for giving me the opportunity to be apart of this amazing organization!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We became involved as volunteer trainers in 2018. We are also a guardian home for a Breeder dog. We see the 4 Paws magic daily. The friends we have made that we would never have met had it not been for 4 Paws. To see how these dogs change lives. We are so grateful to be a part of this amazing organization.

RyanGagnon

Client Served

Rating: 5

4 Paws has been an amazing organization to work with y the entire process of getting our daughter her service dog!

Courtney G.5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Absolutely love 4 Paws! Such a great and helpful non-profit

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer trainer for 4 Paws for Ability since August 2017 and have seen first-hand the incredible impact this organization makes on so many levels. It has been such an honor to be a small part of this organization by taking part in some of these dogs trainings, and then getting to witness their full story play out. Witnessing the difference 4 Paws dogs make in their forever families lives is life-changing and I'm so blessed to be a small part of that.

Denise O.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

In 2015, I became an on-site volunteer with 4 Paws for Ability and shortly thereafter our family became volunteer puppy raisers/trainers. We then became a service dog recipient family. All of the above has enriched our lives. I have experienced and often hear accounts how these dogs changes lives and give hope and healing. Working so closely with them in this capacity has offered behind the scenes insight. The 4 Paws for Ability mission and the well being of the dogs and are always foremost in the mind and mission of 4 Paws for Ability. Because of their commitment to quality and the well-being of the animals and humans, the world is a much better place when a 4 Paws dog is involved. I am always quick to refer to 4 Paws For Ability whether it be for volunteer work, puppy raising, or to become a recipient of their incredible service dogs.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our medical alert multi-purpose service dogs from this organization are AWESOME!

Audrey R.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve been a volunteer trainer for a little over a year now! I can’t imagine my life without this amazing organization. I’ve made so many friends and memories ☺️

Julia J.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer trainer for 4paws for a year and a half now, picking up my 4th foster next week! We all say "4paws magic" and there is simply no other way to put it. These dogs save not only the lives of their match, but also their families. Everyone at 4paws puts their hearts and souls into each and every dog so we can help the kids and veterans who need it most.

Client Served

Rating: 5

There are so so many service dog organizations out there, but 4 Paws for Ability is THE real deal! We did extensive research on organizations before applying for our service dog and were impressed with 4 Paws. After making the trip to Ohio to tour the facilities we knew there was no other place for us. It’s hard to put into words how much our lives have changed with our 4Paws service dog. Independence. Community. Knowledge.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

4 Paws for Ability is not only giving my daughter her independence back by placing her with her perfectly matched service dog, it's giving us a new family; a community of people that know. A new family that understands what we are going through every day, and know exactly what a blessing these 4 Paws dogs are first hand.

Christina K.5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a part of this nonprofit for almost 4 years now and I have loved every single bit of it. Everyone is so kind and they make you feel like family.

Linda M.13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve been involved with 4 Paws for 4 years now and it truly has changed my life. Whether I’m volunteering onsite, or doing work with my SDIT foster, I know that I’m helping a dog that will end up changing the life of a family in need. I’ve learned so much about service dogs and met tons of families that have helped teach me about living life with a disability. 4 Paws isn’t just an organization, it’s a family. We all come together to support each other, even if it’s for something not related to 4 Paws. I’ve met people who became some of my best friends in life.

4 Paws has given me a purpose and I can’t imagine not being involved in this amazing org!

Lilys J.

Client Served

Rating: 5

4 Paws for Ability matched my daughter, Lily, with her service dog last summer. Since day one it was evident that everyone involved cared deeply about how the dogs were raised, to being matched, then training the families and beyond. We are very proud to say we are a part of the 4 Paws family.

Julie M.7

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our daughter received her first service dog through 4 Paws in 2013. Her service dog has saved her life in multiple ways since that day! It’s truly invaluable what they do! Thank you, 4 Paws!

Kyrstyn Jayde R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They do such a fantastic job and I love this organization with every once of me!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a college foster for 4 Paws for Ability for the past 6 months. I truthfully do not have enough positive things to say about this organization. Not only do they care so deeply about each and every client, but also each and every dog and volunteer. This organization continues to change lives every day and I am so grateful to be a part of it.

McKenna M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer puppy raiser for this program and 4 Paws has been nothing but awesome with the way they treat their volunteers and how they raise their dogs to help people in need!

Andrea Armstrong M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have the honor of volunteering as a breeder home for one of the 4 Paws doodles. This has brought so much joy to my family. Thank you 4 Paws. I love 4 Paws!!

Tammi V.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have only had our service dog a short time but what a difference he makes in our lives! We love everything about 4 Paws! They do such awesome work!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for 4 Paws for Ability for 5 years and it has been the most amazing experience ever. I have had the honor to raise 7 service dogs in training as their volunteer trainer. The be able to see these dogs as puppies and work with them each and every day until they become service dogs for children and veterans with did abilities is absolutely amazing to see. I will forever be grateful and blessed to be a volunteer for this amazing program.

Client Served

Rating: 5

4 Paws For Ability trained my son Jeffrey’s service dog, Thor. Their staff and volunteers prepared this pup to perform a number of tasks which help Jeffrey achieve as much independence as is possible for him. Thor is more than a service dog though, he is a best friend and a true companion to his boy. We are forever grateful to 4 Paws For Ability because they provide MORE than a service, they change lives!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve been a volunteer trainer for almost two years now and nothing compares to my experience here. Both of the fosters I’ve cared for have been papillons and the community of people who work with this small breed are delightful. 4paws is filled with loving and caring staff that answer questions, give advice, and help our dogs succeed. I’ve found a family inside being a volunteer trainer with 4paws and I can’t begin to tell you how it’s changed my life. Not only have I made strong and genuine relationships I have two puppies I’ve helped raise to benefit another. They are my extreme joy and it’s been so much fun helping them learn to navigate the world. My first dog has traveled to weight states with me and flown 20+ times, it’s wonderful to take him with me and educate people in the world on the work I’m doing. While the goal of graduating a dog and giving them back are the goal and hardest part at the same time, giving your heart to a SDiT is the best experience you’ll ever have. You may shed some tears, but you won’t regret it.

KaLynn C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

4 Paws for Ability is making a difference in the lives of the clients they serve, but also in the lives of their volunteers. I had the honor of fostering a service dog in training and it was incredibly rewarding to watch his progress. Once he was ready, the professional 4 Paws trainers prepared him for his Autism Assistance work. Love 4 Paws!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Four Paws for Ability is amazing! They are a group of staff and volunteers that truly cares for their dogs and the clients they serve. I have volunteered with them for 2 years now and have had a great experience.

Liz Z.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A great way to give back to something bigger than yourself! volunteer puppy raising has changed my life and so many surrounding me! 4 Paws has brought me a greater joy!

Kelsey H.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization has made my time in college so amazing. I’m on my fourth foster and don’t think I’ll ever be able to stop. The work the organization does is so amazing

Client Served

Rating: 5

This charity matched me with a wonderful service dog, Clancy. Clancy has been more accurate on alerting me about my blood sugar levels than the device I've been using.

I have been amazed at how many of 4 Paws dogs have changed people's life for the better!

Rachael Q.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The best type of volunteering!!! I love being apart of this amazing organization!

Kimberly A.6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We’ve had the pleasure of puppy raising as a family and seeing 2 of our pups become service dogs. We are now the proud adopters of one if our other pups, a “fabulous flunkie” who although his destiny was not to be a service dog, he is an amazing pup nonetheless. It has all been a great experience!

Madison S.5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am both an on-site volunteer and volunteer raiser for 4 Paws. The community is more than just a group of people. It’s a family that comes together to prepare dog’s to help change lives. Every dog receives so much time, dedication, and support. Joining 4 Paws has added so much joy to my life while also letting me have a furry best friend for a few months.

Megan K.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve been a volunteer trainer for 3.5 years with this organization! I love what they do, the people they help, and the puppies!

2 Anna T.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I began volunteering as puppy raisers with 4 Paws for Ability a little over a year ago. I have never met a more caring, dedicated, and all-around awesome staff. The dogs are amazing! Being involved with 4 Paws has been truly life-changing.

1 Tina S.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They do a great job making sure the dogs are well taken care of and trained. They do a lot in the community and schools with the dogs. Love this organization !!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am raising my second service dog in training for 4 Paws for Ability right now, and I am so happy to be part of this organization. The extensive group of volunteers, staff, and puppy raisers are truly like a family who support each other every step of the way to help children and veterans. My first foster is a service dog and I cannot wait to see where my second foster ends up. Even if a puppy is only with you for a short time, they make a lasting impact on your life, and it's such a pleasure to have an impact on someone else's life!

1 Tiffany R.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We are volunteers at the facility and have become puppy raiders! This organization is amazing! The program is so important and helpful to the clients. The staff are friendly and very knowledgeable. The facility is clean and organized! And all of the training thus far has been right on point and we have had help through every step! A one of a kind top DOG company!!!

Michelle E.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

My sons have had a 4 Paws service dog (Necco) for 4 years and a career changer (Levee) for 2 years. Both dogs are amazing! I cannot say enough about how they have improved my boys quality of life.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter received her seizure alert/assistance dog from 4 paws. It was an amazing experience! The trainers are the best! All of the staff and volunteers were excellent!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We volunteer with this organization. Very organized, we were screened beforehand, and we continue to get support as we puppy raise. Love being a small part of the work they do!

Client Served

Rating: 5

We received a service dog for our young son with Autism a year and a half ago. Before we got Reese Ryan had awful anxiety, hated going to school, and could not sleep through the night. After we got Reese his whole world changed. Ryan loves going to school with Reese by his side. He is able to get through a dentist appointment, doctors visits, and his anxiety has decreased tremendously.

I cannot say enough about 4 Paws. Karen, the CEO, ALWAYS answers the cell should you need her. We called early am to ask whether we should take the dog to the emergency vet and she patiently listened while we explained what was happening and told us what to do and what to look for. The staff truly cares about the dogs and the families. We stay in touch with Reese's trainers and college handlers and have visited 4 Paws on occasion since we received him.

We spent two weeks at 4 Paws for training and were able to tour the facility and meet the staff that cares for the animals. We were so impressed with every aspect of the dogs care and loved visiting the puppy house.

I cannot say enough about the organization or the people that work there. We feel very fortunate to be a part of this family.

Heather_B

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our daughter was just placed with her Multipurpose Service Dog last month and we are so impressed with how well he is trained to meet her individual needs! Her dog helps her with balance, retrieves dropped items, turns on/off lights, hits handicap and elevator buttons, alerts when she passes out and does deep pressure, and does behavior disruption during anxiety attacks. He has given her independence again! Before she was placed with her dog we were puppy raisers for 4 Paws and were so impressed with the staff and other volunteers. The dogs are so well taken care of and loved!

Previous Stories
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

Janet L.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

What an unbelievable organization! My son received his service dog from 4 paws in March of this year. We were impressed throughout the process including fundraising but after arriving and going through the training process we were floored at how this organization was run. The staff is amazing and helpful. The training program was top of the line. I felt that I was prepared to properly handle my service dog and educated on all things necessary to be a service dog handler. Our dog is so well behaved and his training is remarkable. He has made such a difference in our lives already. We look forward to the years to come and would HIGHLY recommend 4 Paws for Ability!!

Client Served

Rating: 1

Unsure about their ethics. They waited until they had my $50 app fee to tell me that it would be about 3 years total to get a dog, despite several correspondence before I sent the check. When I asked why they did not disclose the wait time, the response was "You didn't ask". They refuse to refund the money. They may or may not intentionally be deceitful, could just be sloppy and poor ethic skills. Just be aware of the possible wait time and try to think of any questions you might not even know to ask. I'm sure their dogs are probably fantastic, but not too sure about this organizations ethics.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve volunteered onsite, and fostered through their college program. I can’t speak highly enough of 4 paws. They create a community and family that is so special and spreads love and goodness to everyone involved. No matter how you fit into 4 paws, you know you are a part of something that is doing great things that benefit so many people.

Meredith Baird R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

4 Paws for ability has given me a new purpose as my daughters are now in college and I had lost my avenue for volunteering. I have met several nice people and witnessed goodness occurring in this world.

Gabrielle B.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteered with their college and traditional fostering program, housed a breeding dog & volunteered onsite at 4 paws. Participated in fundraising for individual dogs + a sponsored litter of puppies.

Tina Y.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

4 PAWS for Ability is awesome! 4 PAWS is a community who is available to their volunteers and clients 24/7! They provide Service Dogs to children and vets, and when you decide to go with them, you become part of the 4 PAWS family!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My son was just placed in a class for a multi purpose service dog for his autism, TORRETTEs, IED, OCD, ADHD, and severe anxiety. This is a wonderful non profit organization who helps children with all different types of disorders regardless of age. They even help Vets in need. I would not recommend any other agency. They have provided a safe place for parents and children to talk, share, and listen. One big happy family! I also recently decided to give back by volunteering and fostering a future 4 PAWS SD.

Jansell N.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I cannot talks enough for the 4paws magic ! Thanks to 4paws for ability for a peace of mind! Everyone does a great job! Class V July 2018!!

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Thanks 4paws for helping us in this journey now we know we are not alone

Client Served

Rating: 5

My brother met his service dog last month and to say she has been life-changing for him and our family would be understatement! 4 Paws is obviously filled with people who care and who pour love into the training the dogs need to change lives so dramatically and so quickly ❤️

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I have only been volunteering with 4 Paws since the beginning of 2018, but quickly fell in love with the program, as a foster family, puppy sitter and on-site volunteer. Watching the dogs being matched never fails to bring tears to our eyes and I'm still amazed at the dogs' abilities. The hard-working full time team never seem to complain of the long hours and weekends spent with the constant flow of people and dogs coming in and out of the 4 Paws facility. I have no problem donating my time and money to this wonderful nonprofit.

Morgan17

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter got her service dog, O'Malley, last year. He is literally a life saver. He gives her the ability to explore the world safely, and gives us peace of mind. When you join the 4 Paws family, you get just that...a family. You connect with other parents who "get it," who have been through similar experiences. Some of my best friends are other moms I've met through 4 Paws. And 4 Paws' involvement doesn't end when you take your service dog home, either. You can call the trainers any time if you have questions. I can't recommend 4 Paws enough.

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

4 paws is literally a life saver. Their service dogs are amazing as are the staff.

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