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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Paws for Friendship

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Nonprofit Overview

Community Stories

103 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Rebecca Gresh H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have belonged since 2012 and this is the BEST organization. All of us in Paws for Friendship are unpaid volunteers. They DO have up to date PAID insurance. They do offer ACK Good Citizen testing, What they do not require is special training. They evaluate you and your pet to see how they and you will intermingle with others and the people and places we visit. Your pet does not have to be pure bread. They are NOT out to make money that way. PFF relies on donations and fund raisers to keep working. The dues are for your shirt, ID Tag and the pets vest Period, no other monies are asked of the members ! There have been members that have been asked to leave the organization due to there breaking the rules set for PFF and given to them upon joining along with being listed on the web page. Or have done something illegal to further their process under the guise of being PFF rules. That is the BAD REVIEWS YOU SEE IN THE POSTS. PFF is in it's 26th year, so they must be doing something right !!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I would not recommend this organization. It is not well organized and membership guidelines are unclear, especially regarding chapters. Their requirements for dogs passing their test are minimal. I have seen several comments that they are quick to criticize members and use threats of law suits and slanderous comments. I have a friend who used to belong to this organization and they had her in tears with their threats. It appears it is run by someone more interested in money than supporting and understanding their members. There are far better therapy dog organizations out there. It is interesting that most of the 5 star comments were all written within 3 days of each other.

Update: It has just come to my attention that when a member drops out of Paws for Friendship and returns the items, the president has resorted to calling private homes that the former member is visiting and upsetting frail elderly people by telling them that the former member has no insurance. How does this president know what other insurance the member might have? What a cruel tactic! Apparently facilities have also been notified by this president and given similar information. How can a person running a therapy dog organization stoop so low?

Review from Guidestar

1 Natasha S.1

Volunteer

Rating: 1

Obviously, I am not the only one who has had a TERRIBLE experience with this “organization”. I use that term loosely, as I have not seen one “organized “ thing about them. This group discourages training, and discourages Canine Good Citizen testing.

I have seen first hand this group care more about money, back stabbing, and making threats than I have seen them care about the residents we help.

I will be finding my dogs a much more suitable and well run organization. I am hurt and upset that in trying to share my dogs and spread happiness I have come across such a selfish, and mean bunch of people.

1 Isabelle A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Paws for Friendship is a non-profit that has members all over the US that on their own time take their dogs and cats to many facilities like senior homes, schools for their Paws to Read program, memory care centers, colleges during exam and stressful times and many other places. We members enjoy taking our pets and seeing others have the benefit of enjoying our dogs and cats.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful organization that services homes for the elderly, hospitals, libraries and schools. Totally volunteer organization where we visit people and kids can read to our dogs in our Paws To Read program in schools and libraries. It is an honor to be able to help so many with the support of this organization.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great organization! I have been a member for two years and have enjoyed and been totally confident in the group. Always positive visits and comments from facility coordinators. Director Jan, is truly a wonderful person with a dedicated heart for the group. I look forward to many years with Paws. Seems negative comments from members that did not meet basic requirements of the group or did not research he club. All dealings with members I know are perfectly satisfied with internal workings of Paws. This is an honest group with a true goal of providing comfort to those that need it.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a part of this organization for 10 years. Even once I lost my dog, I was still allowed to volunteer in other capacities and was very thankful for this. Paws for Friendship has done nothing but share love of pets to those in need. As an all-volunteer organization (no one receives any type of monetary compensation, not even the Founder) we are a group of people dedicated to bring joy and happiness to those in need. Everyone plays an important role serving and giving their time by visiting, fundraising, marketing, etc... I saw several notes previously regarding insurance lapse in coverage. The fact of the matter is that as soon as we were told of the coverage issue we rectified immediately. We notified all volunteers with complete transparency and provided update insurance certificates. There have been volunteers asked to leave the group for causing issues with other volunteers they had personal issue with. We do not condone drama or pettiness. We are a group of responsible and caring individuals with the same goal. Please be sure to read all of the comments and keep that in mind when you see the ones with low ratings. We are not perfect and we cannot make everyone happy, however, we strive to make those we visit happy and bring them joy. That is why we exist and have been able to operate for and celebrate 25 years

3

Volunteer

Rating: 1

BEWARE OF JOINING THIS PET THERAPY GROUP!

Sorry to say this but was very disappointed with my experience as a volunteer for this organization. Most importantly promises made before I joined included that volunteers would have liability insurance policy for their visits. Now finding out that for many years they didn't have the policies they said they did, and I submitted falsified proof of insurance documents to facilities I wanted to visit as part of the process to get my dog approved to make visits. Don't appreciate being made a dupe in their deceptive practices. They took my money but didn't deliver.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 1

I volunteered with this organization for 5 years. *Then* I found out last December that they'd allowed their volunteers' liability insurance coverage to lapse and had sent out altered insurance documents to the facilities I was visiting for 3 1/2 of those years, putting not only the facilities at risk but each and every one of us volunteers. This is a completely unacceptable way for an organization like this to operate and I will never trust them again. I feel betrayed.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can not express enough how much Paws For Friendship has touch my families life since we joined. Seeing the joy on the patients faces when we walk in the rooms. It brings us just as much joy. Not only are the visits amazing but the group is also. Love going to the Yappy hours and meeting other members. Plan to stay with this incredible organization a long time!

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

A top knotch non-profit organization that provides a valuable service to those who need the service. The smiles on the faces of the patients who loves when PAWS comes to visit is very rewarding. The kids at the library for the read visits also love this time. A very satisfying way to spend time volunteering. I have been affiliated with the organization for many years and refer my adopters who adopt greyhounds from my organization to Paws For Friendship for these worth while activities.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 1

I have been not just a volunteer but a Coordinator for PFF. On 12/6/2016, as a Coordinator I was a part of an email group from another Chapter alerting the CEO and the coordinators to the fact that the insurance certificates we all had since JULY 2013, were fraudulent. The CEO has no good answer for this. The CEO says this is because of something that happened in 2012. No good explanation for the ins. cert. in my hand that states coverage JULY 2016 to July 2017. I have tried to understand and get the truth. Also there are no "reportable financials", no acting board, no reports, nothing. Board members have told me they quit because they had no access to any info. Believe there is criminal fraud in the insurance certs., and an underreporting of $$ received yearly from members. The Florida Attorney General's office has been notified. Hoping someone can at least get an answer as to the insurance certificates. I took the insurance certificate to a public school board, PFF was allowed on school campus only because of the insurance. The premise of the organization and members are great, the leadership is doing something rotten.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a former patient in a nursing home/rehab facility it is such a pleasure to give back with monthly visits with my Therapy Dog, a retired Greyhound. I'm proud to be a member of PAWS For Friendship. It is wonderful to see all the smiling faces from patients as well as staff when we visit. They remember her and many call her by name. PAWS FOR FRIENDSHIP is needed and appreciated.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great organization, serves a very worthy purpose providing much needed pet therapy to anyone who could use a visit from a loving pet. Time well spent and very gratifying.

1 Jan_80

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been involved with them for many years & they are a wonderful group. The people that run this organization should be very Proud...They give so much of themselves to help the ones that need it the Most.

3 Linda421

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just started volunteering for this organization and right away I could see that it is very well organized. Aside from that, the opportunities they give us to share our precious pets with other people is so rewarding. My Lab, Dude enjoys all the attention, pats on the head and ear rubs. Just to think that a simple visit to someone could turn their day around is so fulfilling.

1 John393

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This nonprofit is an awesome organization! They do so much for the community and enrich people's lives in every way imaginable. I will continue to support their efforts and the difference they make throughout Connecticut, and the eventually the world! Proud of you Jen!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been in contact with a friend that participates in the Paws for Friendship. She is amazing person that takes her little guy where ever he is needed and at any time. This organization is getting the animals back into society, and showing there is people that care about one another.

3 Eileen42

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our daughter is currently being mentored & is working with Paws for Friendship for her Ag Ed project(SAEP). She's had wonderful opportunities to help bring joy & happiness to the young and old alike and has gained valuable Econ compassion through this amazing outreach.
She has loved everything that she has done with this group and has said that "Paws for Friendship" puts a smile on everyone's face as soon as they see them coming.
Thank you for this opportunity and I pray that anyone who is in need of cheering up gets the opportunity to have a visit from them.

4 Kristi28

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Paws For Friendship is an amazing organization. I take my fur kids to nursing homes and seeing the smiles they bring to others makes my heart happy. God bless all of you who do so much to make others happy, even if it is for a short while.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Paws For Friendship should be named a National Treasure. Never in my life have I met such dedicated and compassionate dogs and people so invested in helping others. And all volunteer. Where do we find more like you?

3 Al U.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have seen and heard nothing but positives about this organization. The introduction of the Canine Family into the world of those affected and involved in numerous personal and environmental issues is seen by many as to be very positive.
What they have done to contribute in such situations shows nothing but love and compassion. It only goes to show both by Canines and Humans that togetherness and involvement can truly be beneficial and productive to the healing process of any situation..
By being involved in the field of Animal Care and running a Popular site educating the public about Canines, I only hope soon to become more involved in this great Organization..

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Wonderful organization doing outstanding good work. I am a nurse practitioner. The benefits from the work of this group can not be emphasized enough. Thank you Paws for Friendship for all you have done, are doing and will do.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have witnessed lives transformed through the work of this organization. As one of my Army vets with PTSD told me, "These dogs are better medicine than any pill they could give me. They're all heroes." Thank you for volunteering your time to help so many, including our Nation's heroes. There is a special place in Heaven for all of you.

3 Betsy33

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experience with Paws for Friendship spans several years both personally and professionally. The dedication of the handlers and the relationship that I have formed with my local hero, Gizmo and his mom (and Cooper too) have been invaluable. They truly have a special gift for finding and comforting those in need. work they do never ceases to amaze me!

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a personal friend of a volunteer who is mentioned in these reviews several times. I will say that she never accepts credit for any of this. She and Gizmo go forth tirelessly each day touching people's lives through Paws For Friendship in ways that we will never know. Still, her stance is they are only one very small part of a very large village of loving dogs and handlers who all volunteer their time to do the same. Kudos to ALL of you. Thank you for being the light in a sometimes very dark world.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Paws for Friendship and it's group of dedicated volunteers (both 2-legged and 4-pawed) bring comfort to so many individuals needing the love and joy that only a wet nose, a gentle soggy kiss, or simple snuggling can provide. They are an amazing organization full of caring individuals.

2 Suzi4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love paws for friendship! They make my day so better when I see them!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PAWS For Friendship is a professional, superb dog therapy organization. The people who work with their animals thru this organization are kind, generous, hard-working people. The various animals, from tiny to huge, are absolutely the sweetest critters ever to walk on four legs. They are sweet, giving and loving animals, so generous of their time and good energy.

2 Kathie D.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Paws For Friendship is an awesome organization employing therapy dogs, that help and comfort many in distress...Whenever these dogs show up wherever they're needed, be they big or small, the smiles and overwhelming love and comfort they bring says it all...from schools, nursing homes, day care centers, hospitals and emergency situations, they are a much needed gift to all..

1 Natalie76

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Paws for friendship is an amazing organization. The parents if these dogs give so much of their time to make sure these dogs can give their love. From making elderly smile to helping children read, they serve all aspects of the community, and the dogs are really cute!

1 Shelley Y.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I cannot begin to write enough to include all the diverse activities this wonderful organization connects with. How can I explain in depth how they are involved with Paws for Reading at the library, first responders [firefighters and police officers], students in all levels of public school, hospice patients, veterans, assisted living residents, visiting with someone who is going through a traumatic time in the hospital...the list goes on and on. Jen has even helped my daughter, when a Peace Corps Volunteer in Madagascar, raise enough money to build a bridge so that her students could get to their school in Antanifotsy during the rainy season. I am honored to have occasionally been able help Jen with fundraising events. I find the mission statement, "Helping those in need, one paw at a time", heartwarming.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Paws For Friendship is a wonderful organization. These trained dogs and their handlers visit schools, nursing homes, hospitals, libraries and more to brighten the days of those in need. 5 stars from me!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

There aren't enough good things I can say about the positive impact that the Paws for Friendship dogs and their people have in the communities that they serve. Therapy dogs are their own special kind of magic and a healing force for all they meet.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Paws for friendship has changed my life forever. Through Gizmo's frens i would of never met Gizmo and his Mom when i needed it the most as a 40 year old in a nursing home for 2 months, missing my dogs at home, they came to see me. I have attended charities with gizmo and have learned about paws for friendship through his mom Jen Adams. They are amazing and we still have a very close bond to this day. Thank you for all you do!

1 Janice51

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a reading specialist who works with early readers in grades K-2, I know the importance of helping a child be truly comfortable around books. At first, a child may be content to listen to a trusted adult read, and this is an important part of listening for "story language." As children come to learn their letters and correlated phonemic sounds, they love searching for words they "know" in a book. At these precious stages of learning, having someone to listen to their early reading attempts is so important to their growing confidence in reading aloud. When that "someone" can listen without interrupting or correcting, can listen to the same story over and over, and can give praise in the form of a cuddle or a lick -- well, that's just magical, and it's especially magical for readers who struggle. Thank you, Paws for Friendship, for recognizing that magical bond between a reader and a furry friend. You are growing lifelong readers and learners with every page turned. Bravo!