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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Paws and Think Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal-Related, Animals, Children & Youth, Education, Emergency Assistance, Human Services, Literacy, Remedial Reading & Encouragement, Youth Development

Mission: Mission Statement: Improving lives through the power of the human-dog connection. Vision Statement (Every Person, Every Dog): Paws & Think is a non-profit organization focusing on the at-risk community, both human and canine. Our vision is to create a community where “every person who would benefit from a dog has the opportunity, and every dog fulfills its potential.” We do this with two proven methods: one of training and providing therapy animals for both animal assisted activities and animal assisted therapies to youth, seniors and special needs individuals of all ages. The second method is our Youth–Canine Programs that facilitate classes for at-risk youth and teens, helping them to train shelter dogs with positive reinforcement behaviors. The young people learn responsibility, job readiness, anger management, parenting skills, leadership and positive life skills, while at the same time increasing the dog’s chances of adoption because of the basic obedience skills learned. Pride and confidence are found as a result of both aspects of our vision.

Results: School test scores demonstrate huge strides in the students in our R.E.A.D. programs. Over 160 shelter dogs have been trained and found new homes. Over 320 Incarcerated youth offenders are learning positive methods to achieve their goals, along with compassion and empathy. In 2016, we had over 300 volunteers including over 100 therapy teams (handler and his/her therapy dog) who donated more than 3700 hours.

Target demographics: homeless dogs and vulnerable populations in the greater Indianapolis community

Direct beneficiaries per year: Impacted 30,000 lives in Central Indiana including over 160 shelter dogs and 320 young juvenile offenders

Geographic areas served: Indianapolis and contiguous communities

Programs: Pet Therapy for hospitals and eldercare communities, Reading Education Assistance Dogs for in-school programsand Youth-Canine Programs

Community Stories

82 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Such a fantastic organization that makes a huge impact on our city. The dogs touch so many lives in hospitals, schools, libraries, grief counseling organizations, and so much more. It's a pleasure to volunteer for Paws & Think as well.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Each August, Camp Healing Tree is blessed with the healing presence of 10+ Paws and Think therapy dogs and their owners. These wonderful humans and dogs provide comfort and care to 70+ grieving children throughout the entire weekend. They have been one of the greatest additions to Camp - campers and volunteers alike note the Paws and Think teams as one of the most therapeutic parts of camp, year after year.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The handlers and animals are wonderful! The clients eagerly look forward to visits and talk for days about the great experience after the therapy dog visits. This has been a huge benefit to staff and clients and great stress reducing therapy.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Paws and Think started visiting my workplace almost 2 years ago. It is amazing to see how happy our staff are when Rhett and his owner, Becky, come to visit. Even for myself, the stress and tension of the day just disappears. We have also been lucky enough to meet other volunteers and we couldn’t be happier. This is one of the best partnerships our agency has made!

Michelle G.6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined Paws & Think early 2019 and have been very pleased with their organization and breath of services. I was even able to volunteer without my dog when it was necessary.
This organization does wonderful things for Central Indiana!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is an AMAZING organization that gives so much to our organization. Rhett comes out every other week and we look forward to time spent with him and his owner! We are so grateful for all that they do and the smiles they bring to client faces!

Kay L.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love Paws and Think, the dogs are so relaxing when they come to my work twice a month, it gives me a chance to relax & love on the dogs, the handlers are so kind & they enjoy what they do know that they are making someones day much better

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Paws and Think is a fantastic local non-profit! The organization impacts the Indianapolis community in many positive ways. Paws and Think therapy dogs and their owners provide smiles and comfort to students, patients, residents, and staff members at a number of venues throughout Indianapolis. I currently do not have a therapy dog, but still enjoy volunteering at a hospital venue and help with therapy classes and evaluations.
I highly recommend this organization to anyone that loves dogs and how they can positively improve lives through the power of the human-dog connection

Deborah Cline Kish

Donor

Rating: 5

Paws & Think is a very organized, well run nonprofit. I was able to qualify as a therapy team with my first dog, Ginger. I can't wait for my current puppy to mature enough to go thru training!
There are many volunteer opportunities. Whether you have a dog or not they need volunteers and donations are needed too! A very worthy nonprofit!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Camp Healing Tree wouldn’t be complete without Paws and Think. Every year they supply each one of our groups with a therapy dog and sometimes even extra dogs for extra support. Paws and Think dogs and volunteers help our kids and teens share their stories when, at times, it can be hard share to other people. We love Paws and Think and get excited every year they are at camp!!

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Client Served

Rating: 5

Paws and Think is an integral part of Camp Healing Tree every year. Having this organization apart of our camp family has allowed our campers to share their stories in new ways. Often some of our shyest campers will share openly with the dogs instead of during group time. That is a connection we could never have without the help of Paws and Think! We look forward to many years of friendship between both organizations.

Mary Mallard B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Fritz and I love volunteering with Paws and Think. He loves going to all the venues and providing joy to lives, and I enjoy experiencing all the good that it does. It warms my heart to see the smiles from the people we visit. This is a great group of caring individuals providing a great service. We recently had to stop for a while due to surgery Fritz had, and I can tell you we both missed it. Both of us were eager and excited to get back as soon as we could. This organization has brought light to so many including us.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love this organization! They are great to volunteer for, every person we have met has been friendly and informative. They care very much about the folks they serve and the dogs and volunteers.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I work for a local non-profit organization in Indianapolis, IN that serves individuals experiencing mental health, addictions and behavioral health issues for both adults and children. Paws and Think volunteers and their dogs currently visit 5 of our offices and provide the most amazing support to both our client's and staff. I frequently hear remarks such as "ahhhh" and "this made my day" . I have even seen staff stop what they are doing and get on the floor to cuddle with a dog. The smiles these dogs bring to us are indescribable! We are always looking to expand with Paws and Think and plan to have a life long partnership with them. You go Paws and Think woof woof!!!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My dog and I have been training to be a therapy team for the last year and just qualified in August. I researched organizations before selecting Paws and Think because they are so well-organized and have such an amazing range of organizations they serve in our community (schools, libraries, retirement homes, memory care, hospitals, programs for adults with disabilities, first responders, crisis intervention, local businesses, wellness fairs, colleges, and so much more). My dog was only a little over a year old when we began taking the evening training classes, and she needed to mature a bit before we could pass the assessment, but the team at P&T stuck with us and encouraged us to remain involved. I’ve had terrific support as a volunteer, and I feel GREAT telling people about this organization. The schedule offers a diverse array of ways to get involved both with and without your dog, and the people are so great. Their volunteer software program allows you to easily schedule therapy volunteer work/visits and track your hours and service. My dog always enjoys the interaction with our clients and with other P&T teammates.

2 Lisa Coe J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Exceptional. well run, non-profit. My therapy dog Rookie and I have seen some amazing miracles. We were with a stroke patient when he first spoke and moved his limbs for the first time when communicating with the dog. Up to that point he would not respond to anyone.

Paws and Think is organization that is more than great!!

PipsqueakDad

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a volunteer for Paws & Think has been one of the highlights of my life. Working along side my therapy dog to help those who need unconditional love and support is very rewarding. I also volunteer for their Youth-Canine program and throughly enjoy helping at-risk youth and shelter dogs get a second chance. This organization does so much for our community, and I’m so happy to be a part of it.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Paws & Think is incredible! Everywhere they go, they leave goodness and happiness. Whether it’s having therapy dogs to comfort folks or using shelter dogs to teach at-risk kids how to be compassionate, they are doing so much good in our community!

1 Holly Hilton B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our mini golden doodle and I recently became a therapy team and I can already see how amazing this organization is in helping bring others the same joy our dogs bring to us. Faces immediately light up when they see the dogs and it truly brings people a sense of calm and healing in the midst of often stressful and chaotic situations. We are so proud to be a part of the Paws and Think family.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Paws and Think has spent the last several months planning, creating, and executing a new and custom program for Ascension St. Vincent in Indianapolis called Paws to Heal. They have been extraordinarily flexible and creative in meeting our hospital's needs and the needs of the patients we serve. Each handler takes the time to not only become a Paws and Think certified team, but also an Ascension St. Vincent volunteer. Our calendar is quickly filling up. Paws and Think has also sacrificed their personal time to come in on off days to see emergent cases, both pediatric and adult.

One of my favorite stories thus far: we were headed to the medical intensive care unit(MICU) and the patient was in the process of being transported to surgery when we arrived. Instead of coming back another time, the trained therapy dog was able to ride with the nervous patient all the way to the operating room. It was magical to see her anxiety transform into pure joy and relief as she rode with the therapy dog.

Paws and Think has not only met, but far exceeded our wildest expectations for care not only for our patients and their families, but also the visitors and our own Ascension St. Vincent associates. In the photos attached you will see some therapy dogs interacting with our nursing staff after a long shift. It is an absolute pleasure to work with Paws and Think. We are very pleased with their Paws to Heal program.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

I continue to be amazed by the impact this organization has on all the lives they touch. There are so many people in this world that are need of a little help, hope, and compassion. I can think of no better organization that brings together dogs and people to make such profound differences in peoples lives. I am truly humbled and privileged to serve on the board of this tremendous organization.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

I am privileged to serve on the board of this wonderful organization. Bringing together dogs and people in need is a special and rewarding endeavor. This organization is truly committed to making the lives of dogs and people better. It is warming to see how people light up when they see our dogs coming and how excited the dogs get when they get to help people. I true sight to see.

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