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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Palmetto Animal Assisted Life Services

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Health Care, Human Services

Mission: Our mission is to train and place service dogs to help give hope and enrich the lives of those with PTSD, autism, and physical disabilities. We also educate the community on what service dogs can do, how to handle meeting a service dog in public, and how to properly care for one's own pets.

Results: Since PAALS has been in existence, we have raised, trained, and place 24 full service dogs, 18 Pets with a Purpose, and 4 dogs placed with veterans as companions.

Target demographics: people with PTSD, autism, and physical disabilities

Geographic areas served: South Carolina

Programs: assistance dogs as well as educational intervention within the schools and community

Community Stories

35 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just started volunteering here at the beginning of the year and the people here are very friendly and care very much about the animals in their care. The facility is one of the cleanest I have been in. I really like volunteering here. As a volunteer, I do a lot of cleaning in the beginning and then once all that is done they allow me to interact with the dogs. They teach you how to handle and how to respond to the dogs and I love that. They are knowledgable about their dogs. Yesterday I volunteered and after cleaning and doing the stuff that needed to be done they taught me and some others how to properly walk their dogs and it's not just for their dogs its for walking ANY dog. I really appreciated and learned from that experience. I enjoy volunteering here and helping out the dogs and employees.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hands down the best service dog training facility in our state. They prove over and over that miracles do happen. Created at PAALS.

3 Regina O.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My husband is a disabled Veteran. We have been working with PAALS for over a year now and have been accepted as a recipient for a service dog! This is an amazing organization! The people are kind and considerate of all the persons special needs. They are experts in this field and it shows. We are trying to have a fundraiser to help other Veterans and PAALS. Please donate to help them continue their amazing work!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a camper here for several years and went on to volunteer and become a weekend foster. I have never met a group of kind and patient people in my life. Their never ending love for each and every client is absolutely amazing. I have loved working with them

3 Jeanne H.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After moving from Columbia, I realized how special and unique this program is. PAALS does it right and is such a fun, friendly environment with knowledgeable and caring staff. I learned so much as a Pup Sitter and enjoyed my training thoroughly. The dogs are respected with training and I am so impressed with what this organization has accomplished. Keep up the amazing work!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I needed to give back to my community after I retired. I heard Jen speak about her organization at a senior luncheon at Spring Valley Presbyterian Church. Being a dog lover, I was very interested in her talk. I spoke with her afterwards and decided that was what I wanted to do. I started when PAALS was in her home. She and the other trainers taught me so much more than I knew about dogs. When my health prevented me from volunteering any longer, I became a foster again and ended up keeping my last foster, Essie. If anyone is interested in volunteering, this is a wonderful organization. The trainers are very patient and what you learn sticks with long after you can't volunteer anymore.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for PAALS since the beginning. Do to my own health issues, I am not able to interact with the dogs as a foster, walker, etc. I use my skills and abilities to help in other ways behind the scenes. I have seen some amazing things of how these dogs have helped so many people in so many ways. I feel privileged to know and work with this organization. There are many ways to be involved with this organization. Please find one and volunteer.


3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I are weekend fosters for PAALS. We are honored to play a small role in the mission of the organization and humbled to know that these pups go on to help others live their best lives. If you want to know what "right" looks like, spend some time with PAALS.

2 Tina R.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PAALS is more than just a nonprofit, it ultimately becomes your home away from home. Such a loving community with an immense passion for their work. Their dedication to their community is unmatched. This one of a kind nonprofit is a trailblazer in the community. One of the best I have dedicated my time to.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A fantastic organization that trains service dogs to assist people with physical or social needs. They are such a caring group of people to work with! There are a number of ways you can help at the facility or with the animals and get the whole family involved.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

While my family lived in Lexington, SC we searched for a quality non-profit for our family volunteer efforts. We wanted to make a difference, not knowing that Palmetto Animal Assisted Life Services (PAALS) would change our lives. We started as weekend fosters and volunteered at various functions like reading at the Library with children. After fostering a Golden Retriever Labrador mix for almost a year he moved on and eventually became a companion for a veteran. For that time he was part of our family as he shopped for weekly groceries, went to the movies, and attended our sons sporting events. We did not know what this meant until we attended graduation for the canine scholars. This organization that trains service dogs actually changes lives. These service dogs open a new avenue to the lives of its clients that may not have been available without PAALS. We are so thankful we had the opportunity to work with this exceptional non-profit and its staff.

1 Quinten E.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A fantastic organization with a powerful mission! Everyone believes in the mission.

2 Rose W.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PAALS was just the right fit for me when I retired from the military. I was looking for a way to help veterans while also involving my love of animals. I can't believe what a difference a volunteer makes in helping these dogs become 'life changers'! With each dog that I help to learn their skills, I become a part of their history of service to others in need.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My name is Natalee and I am from Beaufort, South Carolina. I interned with PAALS for 16 weeks. They're an amazing organization. The volunteers that come together from the community of Columbia are spectacular. The college students are not only investing in their futures, but they are investing of the futures of highly trained service dogs that will make an outstanding impact in the lives of men, women, and children in need. I have been forever changed by this group and I am using the things I learned there to bring fulfillment and enrichment to my community. This group is part of my family.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A wonderful organization run by people that really care about changing people’s lives.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

PAALS is an incredibly well run organization from top to bottom. They take amazing care of their dogs, employees, volunteers, and especially the people who partner with a PAALS service dog. Even their outreach to the community is outstanding. They set the bar for other non-profits.
Randy Basinger DVM, ACVS

2 Louise Burpee B.

Advisor

Rating: 5

We help advise PAALS about veterinary care for their dogs. They are extremely diligent in the care their dogs receive. When my mother’s 13 year old Seeing Eye dog died and she could not qualify for a new dog because of dementia, (90 years old), I beseeched PAALS to see if they had a companion dog that couldn’t work as a service dog. My mother had not been without a dog in 50 years. Ms. Pat fit the bill! She has revived my mother as a companion to love and touch. We will be forever grateful to this wonderful nonprofit!

2 Susan Simoneau W.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Wonderful organization. Everyday they are changing lives! I will forever be grateful for the wonderful opportunities they have given me!

2 Debbie K.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Amazing organization! We are forever grateful for Skully!

1 Mary Ploski S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

PAALS provides life long support to handlers and service dogs. They are the most remarkable organization that focuses completely on the needs and safety of their clients and the dogs.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

So enjoy volunteering with this organization! Wish there were more hours in the day to allow me to see the animals and the two legged creatures work their miracles, hand in PAW!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In 2014 my daughter ran for her High School Homecoming Princess. I so very much wanted to go see her walk out on the football field with her escort and enjoy the moment with her regardless of the outcome. However after serving 10 years in the military I've developed major anxiety that can sometimes be debilitating. I had to have my best friend go with me and basically hold my hand and escort me through the crowds. Also, I made sure to take medication to try and ward off a panic attack and keep my anxiety in check. This is just one example of the daily battles that I go through just trying to live the best life possible and be the best mother and wife I can be for my children in my husband.

I don't have a service dog yet but I'm desperately trying to find the resources to try and make it happen. Charities such as this one provide great resources and a plethora of information to aid those like me. I am a service disabled veteran but unfortunately Veterans Affairs only appears to offer the resource of service dogs to individuals with PTSD or a traumatic brain injury. I thank God that I don't have either one of those issues but I sure would like to be able to do something as simple as get on a plane and not be medicated or to be able to enjoy precious moments with my children without fear of a panic attack Thank you PAALS for all you do. If you are a person looking to donate to a good cause this is definitely one of them.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

they are a great dog training facility thats trains dog for good

1 Diamond2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Excellent place that will help you locate what you need

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Such wonderful people working there, really great people working hard to help others. They do such great work, you'll fall in love with them and the dogs

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with them for two years and it's one of the best decisions I've made. Everyone is so nice and welcoming and allow for a great, nurturing atmosphere for the pups! Their mission is amazing and so are the workers!!!

2 Becky112

Client Served

Rating: 5

PAALS provided me with my service dog, Fred. They go above and beyond with training and support. With Fred and PAALS I have so much of the independence back that I had lost. From the care and detail they put into working with each clients individual needs and matching them with their perfect dog, to the drive PAALS has for transforming lives they are just phenomenal!!!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dapper, my service dog, has enabled me to live independently. PAALS has supported me and Dapper as we have traveled this journey together. Each year they have provided recertification tests to ensure that we are operating at the highest levels. Without the stellar training that Dapper received, I would not be able to participate in many daily activities.

Elly J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PAALS has helped my son who is on the spectrum through the work that he and his school do with with dogs as part of their projects. We could not be more thrilled knowing that this organization exists.

____754

Donor

Rating: 5

PAALS is an absolute fantastic charity that I'm proud to donate to each year. Not only do they provide service dogs to those in needs, but they overcome adversity with smiles on their faces and are never discouraged. It's always nice to donate to a charity when you can see the end result and how it's helping the community. Some of the best folks around!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am just beginning my journey of applying for a service dog. My husband and I toured the facility last week. We met with the trainers and I think the director. Forgive me if I forget names that is part of my disability. Anyway we were very impressed with the PAALS program. There was so much caring and love for what they do for the dogs and people with disabilities. The facility was cheerful and clean we felt like we were walking into a friend or family home. I'm looking forward to seeing where this journey takes me.

Cecil B.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a Board member and the volunteer Treasurer with this organization since 2010. I continue to be amazed at how their wonderful dogs make a huge difference in quality of life of their partners.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Amazing experience! Can't wait to take our dog home!

Inez M.

Donor

Rating: 5

The best! They have overcome so much adversity that could have made others give up but they continually overcome obstacles to be the best!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wonderful organization that does a service of hope and I dependence