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2021 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Paws4People, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Training, Animals, Crime & Law, Military & Veterans Organizations, Public & Societal Benefit, Rehabilitation Services for Offenders, Veterans

Mission: Educating and empowering people to utilize Assistance Dogs to transform their lives.

Results: paws4people has more than 400 highly trained Assistance Dogs, Facility Dogs, and Emotional Support Dogs in areas such as mobility and psychiatric service, educational and rehabilitative assistance, and social therapy. Together, these Dogs have made more than 1,000,000 therapeutic contacts.

Target demographics: Veterans, Service Members, and their dependents, and civilians (children, adolescents, and adults) with physical, neurological,psychiatric, or emotional disabilities.

Geographic areas served: Nationwide

Programs: The paws4vets Assistance Dog Placement Program places Medical Alert Assistance Dogs-Psychiatric, Mobility Assistance Dogs ,and Emotional Support Dogs with Veterans, Service Members, and military dependents living with physical, neurological, psychiatric, or emotional disabilities.

Community Stories

88 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Phenomenal dogs transformed my life and so many others!

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I was medically retired from the Marines in June 2020 I had struggled a lot. Suicide was on my mind all the time and I had determined I was going to kill myself by December of 2020. I had heard of this organization from someone at the VA. At first, I was very unsure what to think. how could a dog actually do anything for someone's mental health? My life was spiraling out of control and I had felt that it would soon be over, but I decided to try to get a service dog as my last resort. There is a lot of paperwork and a call interview to see if you can be a good candidate for a service dog. I was very skeptical when I got accepted and had my bump was in November 2020. Every dog they brought in stayed at their end of the leash and wanted nothing to do with me except one. CRIMSON! She was still very unsure if I was a good choice, but she still gave me a kiss. I was brought out of the room and went back to the others that did their bump with me. We were all called back to figure out what dog was picked to be ours. When I was walking up Cece stopped me and talked to me saying that everything about me was off to the dogs. She said that she was going to try out CRIMSON with me and if I burned her out within the first four trainings I would be given a different dog. I never really cared for a dog and didn't even know how to handle one. The first thing we did was walk with the dogs and I for sure did not have any clue what I was doing. Cece helped by guiding me through it and I was learning very slowly. I still had no hope in myself or confidence in what I was doing. After that day we had a seminar going over the bylaws of the dos and don'ts. They canceled the December training and so I really started training in January. I was really struggling with a lot of the commands and had forgotten a lot of them. CRIMSON also would not listen because I was questioning the commands myself. I had a lot of extra training with the trainers and they helped me understand my faults. In March or April, I was asked if I wanted to do extra training for a week. During that week I improved a lot and started feeling a little confidence in myself again. During this time I also learned how to improve myself for example leaving a toxic relationship. In 2020 I never thought that I could live by myself and I was terrified to be with my thoughts longer than a minute. After that week I kept training every month and eventually got my black vest. When I brought CRIMSON home it was like having every Christmas present I ever had wrapped in one. Soon after I brought her home I slowly stopped wanting to kill myself. I still did not feel like myself yet and I still don't, but I will tell you with the help of this nonprofit helped me start living my life again. Last year I had trouble forming sentences and thought that when I got medically retired that would be the last job I could hold and never even imagined I could go to college, but here I am able to attend with straight A's. I want to thank everyone at this nonprofit and could not ask for a better service dog organization. They don't just give you a dog they give you life!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I cannot thank paws4people enough. I have Multiple Sclerosis and, at times, it is difficult for me to move around my house. I have difficulty picking things up off of my floor and sometimes my body aches and it is hard to get out of bed. ZIGGY has changed my
Life! He not only retrieves items for me, he is also my mobility assistance. I have a special harness that I use for him so I no longer have to use a cane in public. ZIGGY also will alert family members if I fall down in my home. He has become an invaluable part of my life. He not only is a medical necessity, he has become such an emotional support as well. His amazing personality has brought such joy to our home! I now can’t imagine life without him.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We originally visited paws4people looking for a nonprofit to volunteer with. The staff immediately recognized how a medical assistance dog could help me with my disability and have since made it possible for me to meet and work with an amazing dog who has already helped me in more ways than they even described. The staff has not only been extremely professional and thorough, but they have all gone above and beyond in more ways than I can count. I now that the staff at paws4people is in it for the right reasons....they truly care about helping clients have a better life through the help of a medical assistance dog.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I spent 22 years in the Marine Corps before being Medically Retired in 2012. While on active duty, I was involved in a training accident, which led to my diagnosis of Chronic Reactive Airway Dysfunction Syndrome (RADS). I experience difficulty breathing, in which any number of irritants will cause my airway to constrict, of which no inhaler will help. When the attacks occur, I have to lay down until I can calm down and recover. On occasion, these attacks have caused me to spend multiple days in the hospital . I applied for an Assistance/Service Dog from paws4people because I believed having a Service Dog will help me deal with my anxieties while I am experiencing a breathing attack, and hope that it will give my family some peace of mind, should something happen while I am home alone.

NOBLE and I bumped in November 2020. NOBLE will help me by alerting others when I am having breathing issues, or have fell down, or if I need medical attention. NOBLE has been trained to press a medical alert buttons in my home that will call for emergency personnel. NOBLE will also brace to help when me when I am having issues standing, and cuddle when I am anxious due to breathing difficulties.

NOBLE and the paws4people / paws4vets organization have been a true blessing for me and my family. I would highly recommend the organization to fellow Veterans and civilians. paws4people is a first class organization who genuinely cares for its clients and their dogs.

Client Served

Rating: 5

paws4people is one of the best things that has ever happened to me! My life has completely changed since I have received my assistance dog DAKOTA. I’m happier, less stressed, more social, more active, more confident, and more secure! There are just no words to describe how much DAKOTA has changed my life and how much he means to me. Knowing that he is always by my side makes getting through each day so much easier! I have made so many amazing friends and we are able to encourage and support each other through anything. I am so grateful to paws4people for so greatly improving my life!

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization is a great organization. I am a disabled veteran that struggles with issues from my military service. MCLELLAN has helped me and my family in ways that I cannot describe. Me and my family are so thankful to paws4people and paws4vets. My life has changed so much and its still changing so much everyday. Every place that MCLELLAN and myself go everyone says that he is the best trained dog they have ever seen. It makes me smile and I know that it is paws4people that made this happen. This organization is not only very professional but everyone is family. I cannot thank enough to this organization for giving me and my family this opportunity and also for wanting to help better my life and my families life. Thank you so much. I highly recommend this organization to anyone that is looking for not only a service dog but a family.

Client Served

Rating: 5

paws4people is an amazing organization. I started the program in 2017 as a sophomore in college. After I graduated from the UNCW Service Dog Training Program, I continued as an alumni trainer because I loved it so much. I was given many leadership opportunities, the opportunity to work with clients, and trusted with lots of wonderful service dogs that I helped train! My favorite part of being an alumni trainer was working with the clients and their service dogs, and seeing their bond with their dog grow. The staff works extremely hard to make sure these dogs are specially trained for the clients, and puts a lot of effort into helping clients become the best trainer they can be as well. I am now on the client side of things, as I have received a Rehabilitative Facility Dog to utilize in my career as a recreation therapist. I have experienced both sides of the program- being a student as well as a client, and I can truly say this organization is amazing! They give back to the community in so many ways, and changed my life for the better. The staff cares about all the students, clients, and dogs, and everybody I've met through the program has been nothing short of amazing. I am very thankful for this organization and highly recommend it to anybody looking to volunteer or receive a service dog!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Paws4People has changed my life in ways I’ve never imagined. I have a rare genetic disease called Trigeminal Neuralgia. It is considered to be the most painful condition known to medicine. I went from being a jet pilot and an active mother to having my life changed overnight. Over the past few years I have felt as if my independence was slipping away due to the pain and the side effects of the medications. While desperately trying to find a way to hold on to parts of my old life, I stumbled upon Paws4People and was welcomed in to their program. It is so much more than being matched with a dog. Paws4People cares about your overall well being, welcomes you in to their family, and gives you tools to adapt to your personal challenges. I was matched with an amazing dog that chose me. In addition to her extensive command list, she can bring me my medication bag, alert a person, and push a button to call my husband. More importantly, she is constantly by my side and gives me the extra confidence I need to continue to do activities on my own. I am forever grateful and honored to be part of the Paws4People family.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am truly thankful for all the support Paws4people has given me. Paws4people is truly a top notch organization. They have helped me throughout my whole journey. I can not put it into words how grateful I am. I highly recommend this organization to anyone looking for a awesome service dog.

Jose A.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a disabled veteran who currently suffers from mobility and mental health issues. In a conversation with a mental health provider, she suggested I look into getting a psychiatric/mobility service dog. She told me many people were applying and to be careful where I was getting the service dog from. I began my research and saw some information about the paws4people foundation, their accreditation with the Assistance Dogs International (ADI), and the founder moving story about how she started the paws4people foundation.

I submitted an application and to my surprise an email response came from the paws4people foundation. I was desperate, I had tried every medication you can think of to make my anxiety less troublesome, pain killers to ease the pain, and when that email came it was as if a new life was given to me. After submitting a series of documents and going through a very structure application process I was approved for a service dog. The paws4people foundation coordinated for me to visit a location where I was going to meet several service dogs and one of those dogs was going to choose me as a handler. Forward some time, and I now have GEORGIA a female chocolate labrador with me at home.

The staff and volunteers at the paws4people foundation have a heart for people who like me are in need of help. Their compassion, professionalism and commitment to their dogs and clients is superb. GEORGIA is changing my life and so is my relationship with the paws4people foundation. I call them family, because that is how we all treat each other. Their service dogs are incredible well trained, I get compliments every day about how well behave GEORGIA is. I take walks with her, we go to supermarkets, stores and she is even with me at church. I am a small church pastor who was missing most of the church services due to anxiety, since having GEORGIA with me I have missed none. The people at the church love GEORGIA and see the positive impact GEORGIA is having in my life.

There are no words to describe my gratitude for what the paws4people foundation do for me and the other members of what I called my family.

Attached are a few images of GEORGIA and me. See my face? I look happy now!

Ngoziabata G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with Paws4People has been a life changing experience. Not only do they transform the lives of their clients but also their volunteers. I started off taking the classes at UNCW, became a puppy assistant, a puppy intern, and now am a puppy caregiver. I still work with the assistance dogs in training and can't think of a better organization to be involved in. Being apart of a like minded and family-like organization is such a unique opportunity. Being a student trainer is both rewarding and challenging, but the staff, alumni, and volunteers are absolutely remarkable people. I will forever be grateful to be apart of such an amazing nonprofit organization.

2 Malia P.

Client Served

Rating: 5

paws4people is exemplary in every way. This organization is an industry leader in not only raising and training service dogs, but training clients to utilize them to transform their lives. The staff truly cares about the success of each client-dog team, and will stick with them as long as it takes to ensure that they’re as successful as they can be. Their mission of transforming lives through service dog partnership is not a platitude-they really do save lives, families, and relationships.

2 Paula G.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

"Tell your Story." Ten years ago I would not have been alive had it not been for STEWART and the paws4people organization. I am a Former Medically Retired First Responder, with CPTSD, Sexual Trauma, Bipolar 1 and Dissociative Disorder Disease (which is like Multiple Personality Disorder) STEWART was born in September 2010. When we bumped in 2011, my life had changed as I had never knew it could. I continued to have hospitilizations, self harm issues, but paws4people and STEWART
never left my side When I would be released, he would be standing there like let's get back to work. It has been five years, since I have had any self harm issues, mental health hospitalizations, and any additions to my personalities. My family, friends, and others can testify that he and the organization or what kept me alive. paws4people do not just drop you, they check in with you and do other things that make you feel like family. Plus, I like having to keep our certification up because it continues to make us the best.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The support and knowledge they give about the program and dogs is amazing! Personally being a client training with my dog has been a life changing experience! All for the better! They are teaching me ways to cope and learn that what I’m going through is hard but also I now have a companion to always be there to help with the bad times! Cannot say enough good things about the organization and the employees and volunteer trainers/instructors! So knowledgeable and caring!

1 Wil N.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Before paws4people/paws4vets I was struggling with PTSD for nearly 10 years. In those 10 years, I was a wretched husband and father. I would lash out in anger towards my family, I wasn’t supportive or loving. I was just numb, I had no real feelings. Now 3+ years after getting involved with p4p/p4v, my life is a complete turnaround. I’m not the same person I once was. I’m a better, more loving husband and father. paws4people not only change my life but it has a impact on the people around me.

2 sessalie

Client Served

Rating: 5

This nonprofit helped change my life! I was a first year university student when I first became aware of paws4people, and the next year I knew I had to join in on their mission. 6 years later, and my life has completely turned around. The dogs and people I have interacted with have made my quality of life so much more than what it used to be.. I have an ESD through paws4people, and I don’t know where I would be without my dog or this amazing group of people. This nonprofit TRULY transforms lives!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

paws4people changed our lives in ways beyond measure by providing a service dog for my daughter. We can never thank them enough for all of the amazing work they do every day.

1 Jennifer K.9

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a Type 1 diabetic who no longer feels when my blood sugar drops. This can be highly dangerous for me. paw4people trained and provided for me a Diabetes Alert Dog. He is my constant companion and my safety net. Even though I wear a an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring system, they are not always accurate. BENSON, my beautiful black lab, is much more accurate and often times alerts me before I am actually at a low level because he can smell the difference when my blood sugar is dropping. He has woken me from a deep sleep numerous times alerting to a low, and I have no doubt he has saved my life on more than one occasion. He is also such a gentle, sweet dog with the best personality. I can' t imagine my life without him. I cannot thank paws4people enough for my furry best friend! I love him so much! I would also like to add to add that p4p doesn't just provide service dogs to people in need; they provide a family. The way they stay invested in their client/dog teams is amazing! They are there for you when you have a problem or question, and I love the fact that they have us test and rectify every year to retain our public access. This just to show how high their standards are how much they care for their client/service dog teams! Thank you paws4people!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

paws4people is an awesome organization! The attention to detail in breeding, puppy development, selection and assignment of their dogs is unmatched. My son was matched with a dog, which has turned out to be such a blessing for him and our entire family. This dog has allowed him to establish independence and complete tasks which otherwise he would be unable to do. This dog has also become a friend and companion who is nonjudgemental and sees no disabilities when looking at my son. He only sees friendship and looks for ways he can make my son's life better. By allowing us to have this dog, paws4people has improved all our lives!

NamVet2173

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had applied and interviewed with four Service Dog groups in 2017. I chose Paws4People and have never second- guessed my decision. I initially had many doubts as to my success due to my age ( 72) and having never owned a dog.
I was diagnosed with PTSD in the early 80's and saying my dog, EMBRY has been an utter wonder might be the understatement of the decade!! She has helped mitigate my symptoms and has totally changed my overall life.
The training was excellent as was the entire staff. They are not just with you during training but even afterwards as well. I feel as if I have joined a family who truly care about its members. I cannot envision my life post-Paws4People being any better !!!

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Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a combat-decorated Vietnam veteran and am 100% Service connected disabled due to PTSD, profound hearing loss and various joint problems.
I was first diagnosed with PTSD in 1985 and afterward just dealt with it- or at least
as much as possible. It returned with a vengeance three years ago due to the death of my best Nam buddy. I could not visit him in his last days due to some of my own health problems at that time.That exacerbated my survivor guilt and other issues as well.
I became even more hyper-vigilant, thinking people were breaking into my home. I keep imagining I was hearing sounds even though "intellectually " I knew there weren't. I set up Nest Cams throughout my house and garage to view all entrances and was able to view them on my iphone. It was extremely worse at night- and compounded with nightmares and flashbacks ( or as one psychiatrist told me : " Intrusive thoughts " ) does not make for a restful night ! At times, I didn't even trust the cameras and wound up physically checking my surroundings.
After talking with my latest therapist he and I both felt having a Service Dog would help me feel much more secure especially one capable of alerting me when there are sounds ... or someone inside, " My perimeter ". We also felt a Service Dog would calm me throughout the entire day and night in dealing with several of my " Triggers ".
I applied to four Service Dog groups and was accepted into all. That is either a comment on my luck or how "messed up " I was. I visited all four and after listening to Terry Henry ( of paws4vets ) describe the program I immediately knew this was THE ONE for me.
Initially I was extremely nervous since I never had a dog and at my age then ( 71 ) how would the training go ? The training is VERY thorough and hence, stressful. I was allowed to take EMBRY home after six months and red- vested in eight. They always emphasize they are all about the DOGS. However, the program is more like a family. They are always with you and I am as close to some other clients as I am to friends I have known far longer.
What has EMBRY done for me ? Several years ago i physically attacked my girlfriend while in the throes of a flashback. THAT hasn't happened since . I no longer check my security cameras where in the past I sometimes did six times every night.
I am a lot calmer and do not blow up as I once did.EMBRY keeps me calm by anchoring me during the day and at night has awakened me before a nightmare gets going, EMBRY is very much tuned to me and as an example I was on my laptop two weeks ago with the V.A. ( which by itself is very stressful ) and she literally jumped into my lap and wound up blocking the screen. I took her " advice " and took a break:-)
There are no real words to describe the bond EMBRY and I share. I feel as if I've had her for far longer than the five we've been together. I feel as another veteran said, " It's like having someone in your fighting hole !"
This group is amazing and the charge for these miraculous dogs .... not one penny. This group changes lives... and saves lives !!!
Nick Travis

Daryl J.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Several years after running over a landmine in Iraq, sustaining a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), my wife pushed me to get a service dog to help me.
With the help of Paws4people/Paws4Vets, I was able to get BARROW, my service dog.
BARROW and I have been a team since August 2019. My family and friends have said many times that they see a huge difference in me.
Thanks to companies like RBC Wealth Management and The Linn Group, who make donations, I as well as others are able to have a better life with our service dogs.
Thank you Paws4People/Paws4Vets for giving me hope and a better life.

Daryl and BARROW
Memphis, Tn.

1 Provider6

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am currently in my eighth month working with my medical assistance dog, LINCOLN. He is a black Labrador Retriever. He has changed my way of life in words I cannot describe. Instead of being a couch potato, I am now up and about. I can go anywhere. Instead of being a couch potato, I am now up and about. I can go anywhere. Great Organization!

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Client Served

Rating: 5

Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF): paws4people, a nonprofit organization, is quite simply the finest program I have ever had the opportunity to work with. They have litterally changed my life for the better. I am not sure where I would be right now without them.

paws4people link veterans and civilians up with trained medical assistance dogs in an attempt to make that person’s life more manageable and livable. Without their help, I am sure I would be in a very dark place as I am writing this testimonial right now.

I have been paired up with a black Labrador Retriever by the name of LINCOLN. He is my trusted companion and provides me with unconditional love. He asks for nothing back except for the same love and gentleness. I was paired with LINCOLN back in July 2018. Ever since then, I get to train with him four days a month in Wilmington, NC. paws4people, in conjunction with the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, trains him to learn approximately ninety commands that I will learn before I can take him home. These commands will enable me to teach LINCOLN what I need and also help protect me in case an event occurs that I am not comfortable with.

LINCOLN is not an emotional support animal. He is a certified medical/psychological assistance dog. That means he falls under the rules of the federal Americans With Disability Act. LINCOLN can go with me anywhere I can, to include plane rides and restaurants.

I am so appreciative of the volunteers at paws4people. Had it not been for them, I would be in a lot of trouble. My Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and mild Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is very hard to deal with. Seeing a Psychologist helps, but it’s not enough. I still was not able to leave my house or go out shopping because of my mental illness. Now that I am training with LINCOLN, I am able to leave the house and go places that I never would have done before. My life is a lot more normal now and I’m hoping to make my life even better with the help of LINCOLN.

I highly recommend that veterans and civilians alike, give paws4people a chance to help them. Also, a donation of any amount to this nonprofit is an easy way to “Pay it Forward” for people who have read this testimonial.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Today I went out to eat at a local diner. I happened to run into a couple friends, who invited me to join them. I was happy to accept their invitation and we had a good time.

At first glance the whole situation seems painstakingly ordinary, just three friends sharing a meal. Yet under the table lay three extraordinary service dogs. At the table: taking a sip of his coffee was a 70 something year old USMC Vietnam veteran, sprinkling salt on her potatoes was a twenty something year old sexual assault survivor, and wolfing down his sandwich was a 30 something year old USMC OEF veteran. Perhaps unlikely friends, but fate and a special organization called paws4people brought us together. Today we are simply three friends, eating breakfast. Conversation is generally light hearted. Yet, at one point I find myself saying, "I don't know where I'd be if I had never found paws4people." In the silence that follows, the older marine states, "I know where I'd be without my dog, six feet under." My buddy looks out the window and nods in agreement, as I reach down to pet my dog.

3 ali233

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am the owner/director of Jenkins Preschool Academy. We are fortunate enough to have COLLIER as our Facility Dog from paws4people. COLLIER is into her second school year with us, and we continue to reap the benefits daily! COLLIER helps create a warm, homey atmosphere as she greets the children and families each morning. Every child has formed a bond with her in one way or another such as helping to walk her to class (reducing the child's anxiety about separating from mom), coming to visit her when he/she is sad, welcoming COLLIER into the classroom to help with daily lessons and many other ways. Having our own Facility Dog is a wonderful experience for the children, families and staff at JPA. The children love to follow COLLIER on instagram @preschoolpup_jpa!

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Client Served

Rating: 5

I received a Certified Education Assisted Facility Dog in June 2017 to work at my preschool. In just her first year there I have seen how much COLLIER has impacted the students and families here. Her presence helps create a sense of calm and routine as each child knows they will be greeted by her at the door. She has helped children work through anxiety and fears when parents drop off. She is also crucial in helping us teach about feelings and empathy. I can't say enough great things about paws4people and their dogs!!

2 Joe R.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Paws4people is the most amazing service dog organization I have ever had the pleasure of interacting with. Their staff is professional and treats you like family. I don’t know where’d I’d be today without their help. They really are lifesavers, and their training program is the most efficient one I have come across. Their screening process makes sure that the right clients get into the program, and once you are a client they will never give up on you. Whom ever is struggling with issues that could benefit from a service dog, Paws4people is on par with excellence.

3 Lissa H.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I most likely would have ended my own life if it had not been for this sweet girl. I have agoraphobia and chronic severe depression. WINDE brought me hope and a new life. She taught me how to live in the moment instead of in my head. She got me out of my house and outside again. Paws4people was with us during the whole training process but also anytime I needed to reach out. I am forever grateful that my life was led to them and WINDE. Paws4people is more than an agency, they become an extended family and are made up of some of the most wonderful people you can know.

3 Barbara Place K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

ATKINS is a Rehabilitative Facility Dog utilized to prevent and mitigate the symptoms of dental anxiety in our dental office. The incredible training that she received from paws4people enables her to assist with adults and children to create a great dental experience. It is estimated that 40 million Americans don't receive dental care because they suffer from dental phobia. Dental phobia prevents them from going to the dentist at all. We have had several patients with dental phobia seek out our office because of ATKINS and the Animal Assisted Therapy she provides. These same patients have improved their quality of life because they were able to have dental treatment completed. Thank you paws4people for committing to transform lives!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was introduced to paws4people by being a student at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where their on campus dog training program is located. I was having a rough time in life dealing with recent trauma, which made me want to give up on a lot of things. My friends didn't understand the hardships I was facing, so they were starting to leave me out of things, I couldn't focus in school and began failing classes, and I just overall didn't feel like myself. However, instead of trying a million medications or giving up, I sought the help from paws4people. I was introduced to TOBY in October 2017 and my life quickly changed. He was exactly what I needed to complete my life and push me forward. I found confidence in myself again; I began passing all of my classes again; I wasn't as afraid to go out in public anymore because I always had my buddy with me; and I was able to reconnect with lost friendships. I also met a lot of people who understood what I had been through, which was huge for me. I could talk to people who knew what I had been through and who I could relate to. I've made some of the best friends I could ever ask for, heard incredible testimonies, and attended meaningful events all because of paws4people.

1 Presley G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am incredibly grateful to be apart of this community. I was welcomed in with open arms and I have felt nothing but support from the staff since the day of my bump. I currently do not have my dog, BARROW, home with me yet, but as we continue to grow together as a team I'm sure he will be home in no time! Since joining Paws4People, my spirits have lifted, it's easier to get out of bed, it's easier to socialize, and the biggest gift of all that was given to me is that I finally have hope for my future. This organization truly is for the people and want nothing but the best for their clients and their dogs. I can't wait to have BARROW home and I am forever thankful to call myself a member of the Paws4People family.

1 Lauren K.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

CREEK has changed my life in ways I cannot express. He has brought a sense of peace to me and has allowed me to live a better life! I feel like I am living again for the first time in years and I believe it will only get better! I am forever grateful to paws4people/paws4vets.
Anthony R.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

DELLA has definitely made a positive impact on mine and my family's lives. She has given me a reason to keep trying and to not give up. We go to work at a public job 5 days a week and other people see us together and I think it makes a positive impact on their lives as well. Thank you so much paws4people/paws4vets...when the chips were down you came through for me.
Forever Grateful, mark and DELLA

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Client Served

Rating: 5

My experience with paws4people has been awesome. I have started a new journey that I never knew existed. I would never have thought that I would have people helping me that didn't even know me. These people actually care about helping people get their lives back and on the road to recovery. I will forever be greatful and do my best to give back to them to help save other Veterans from traveling down a dead end path that no one comes back from.
Thank you paws4people for caring and for introducing me to DELLA.
Sincerely, mark

1 p4pvet

Client Served

Rating: 5

They are great! Since teaming my dog, BOAZ and me together, I'm able to go out more often and with less anxiety. Also my nightmares have diminished. paws4people/paws4vets is more than an organization; they are a family! Thank you paws4people. We look forward to seeing you again.

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2

Client Served

Rating: 5

They have connected my husband with a great friend, his dog, BOAZ. He has enabled him to go back out into the world; to get out of the house and to enjoy some of the things he use to before his accident. Also paws4people/paws4vets is more than an organization, they are a family...

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2 Amy Carpenter G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is my daughter and her service dog, SULLIVAN. We met SULLIVAN in March 2017 after being accepted into the program with paws4people. SULLIVAN gave Hannah her life back She is there for her when she is anxious; she gives her the courage to leave the house; she provides comfort when she has awful nightmares; most of all, SULLIVAN provides unconditional love to Hannah. We are so grateful for paws4people. Without their program and generous support, I don't know where we would be today. paws4people is amazing.

2 Jeff H.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

paws4people has changed my life. I was afraid of going into public settings; panic attacks plagues me; and I was battling crippling depression. After I met BLU, my life changed forever. I know have the freedom that I didn't have before and I am living life again. Thank you paws4people.

-Jeff and BLU

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3

Client Served

Rating: 5

paws4people has changed my life! I was suicidal, depressed and could not function. paws4people came in and guided me on the path to happiness. I was matched with BLU and my entire world changed forever. I am now able to begin living the happy life that I so much yearned for. A fantastic organization!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My life was falling apart. I had been compliant with my medication and with therapy but my life was still falling apart. When my doctor recommended a service dog I was skeptical. I didn't think I'd qualify for any programs since most are veteren pr children only. When I found paws4people I was sure that I wouldn't be accepted but my fiance convinced me to apply anyway. Less than 20 minutes after sending the initial email I was asked to fill out a full application. I couldn't motivate myself to do it and dragged my feet. They called to check on me. That's when I realized what kind of organization this was. Every organization member I spoke to on the phone was kind and professional. When I was accepted their deputy executive director called me to tell me personally.
I was matched with a dog in July and was a mess during the entire event. They took their time to speak to me, reassure me, and let me know that they were going to help me.
This is an organization that is full of the kindest and caring people I have ever met. They're invested in helping me and every other client. They are not only available if we need them but actively reach out as well.

1 Alexa M.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a special education teacher, and paws4people gifted me with the best tool I could’ve ever asked for. His name is FOREST! FOREST is a facility dog in my classroom. I teach 12 students on the autism spectrum. They have many different abilities and needs. FOREST has been a huge asset to all of us. He is there to comfort my students when they are upset, he motivates them to talk and play with his spunky personality, he assists them by picking things up for them, and he bonds with them in a very special way. Not only does FOREST serve my classroom, but he serves the whole school! All of the students, and even the staff members look forward to seeing him everyday. Students throughout the school who may be going through tough times at home, have the opportunity to come in and love on him. You can tell it just brightens their day. He also boosts students’ confidence with their reading skills by being the best listener during read aloud time. All in all, FOREST is a huge blessing to my students, my school, and myself! I am so grateful to paws4people for gifting us with this sweet, perfect boy.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

paws4people is an amazing non-profit! I discovered this organization through the Service Dog Training Program classes offered at UNCW in 2015, and I absolutely fell in love! Since then I have stayed actively involved in this organization. I strongly believe in the mission, and the positive impacts their dogs have on so many people's lives. I have personally been touched by not only the dogs, but the people involved in this organization. paws4people makes everyone feel like family, and they are always there to support anyone in need. All in all, paws4people does outstanding work for the community and all people involved by educating everyone on the amazing things that service dogs can do, and by placing highly trained service dogs with so many people in need!

Brett B.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Without Paws4People I would not have been able to function. I knew I needed help when I was diagnosed with heart disease. It was debilitating on a good day and even though I believe in the power of prayer I wasn’t getting better. It wasn’t until I met URBAN Dec 2017. He empowered me to “do” again. Gave me purpose through freedom from my crippling disease. Gave my family freedom to live their lives and know I was in good “paws”. Thanks to URBAN I can LIVE again. Thank you Paws4People for being the miracle God intended for me.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experience with paws4people has been absolutely amazing!! Every single person within the organization regardless of if it is staff, volunteers, or other clients are always there to welcome you with open arms. You definitely get an extended family when you are a part of paws4people. Thanks to them I have my 4 legged best friend CLAUDE who is there right beside me every step of the way no matter what. I know that no matter what I face or what is going on that he is right there with me ready to help and support me. Having CLAUDE has given me back a lot of the independence that having a physical disability and using a wheelchair takes away from you. Having CLAUDE there to help me with whatever I struggle with on my own even if it as simple as picking up something that I dropped, means that is one more way that I am now independent. Thanks to paws4people and CLAUDE I feel like I am finally able to live and pursue the independent life that I have always strived for. There is not enough that can be said about paws4people and the amazing work that they do, it is truly life changing.

jnjwall

Client Served

Rating: 5

CANYON has changed our lives by calming his boy during meltdowns and has brought so much joy to our lives. We love our boy!!

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was matched with CANYON in September of 2015. This dog has been such an amazing addition to our family. He helps mitigate emotional distress when his anxiety is heightened and negative behaviors begin. We are very grateful to be a part of such an amazing foundation.

3 John Greg F.

Client Served

Rating: 5

paws4people and paws4vets for me has been a life-saving Foundation. They have went beyond all of my expectations to provide all the support I could possibly need. They bend over backwards to help any and all clients involved in their programs. They never give up on an individual. Their Annual re-certification program puts them head and shoulders above all the rest. I have been part of a team with my dog MERCER since 2015. paws4people and paws4vets saved my life by helping me. They have helped hundreds of people both veterans, civilians, first responders and others. They are on a different level all to themselves by the support they provide their service dogs, clients, and all invoolved.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter was in the Assistance Dog Training Program at UNCW. Through her I witnessed first hand how the paws4people Assistance Dogs transform lives. I was so impressed with this non-profit that I applied for a Facility Dog to work with me in my dental office. I am now in training with my Facility Dog, ATKINS. All the staff that I work with at paws4people are great at what they do! In my opinion the paws4people mission to be the best in the industry has already been achieved. Their love for their dogs and for the people whose lives they are helping transform is evident in every aspect of the organization!

2 Tanner Leigh H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

paws4people saved my life. LITERALLY. What’s even more remarkable is that paws4people didn't just save my life. They’ve saved hundreds of lives and they continue giving people their lives back - one Assistance Dog at a time. This organization all began with a 12-year-old girl's vision: to use dogs as a means of helping people through empowerment and transformation. This vision became a reality in the form of paws4people foundation.

paws4people foundation is a non-profit organization that raises, trains, and places Assistance Dogs with children, veterans, military dependents, and civilians living with disabilities at NO COST. Yes, that's correct; this organization provides highly-trained, specifically-individualized Assistance Dogs, worth over $60,000 each at NO COST to individuals in need. This is the definition of selfless giving. I believe that this organization truly exemplifies what a great non-profit is comprised of: a FAMILY-LIKE group of UNDERSTANDING individuals who are WHOLE-HEARTEDLY, DEDICATED TO SAVING LIVES OF THOSE IN NEED.

Personally, paws4people has provided me with a very special Psychiatric Medical Alert Assistance Dog named BRODIE, in an effort to help me control, mitigate, and regulate various symptoms caused by my Psychiatric diagnoses. Through BRODIE, this foundation has given me a constant companion, a sense of security, and a new found purpose. paws4people hasn’t just handed me a dog and said “good luck with the future!” This organization has provided me an irreplaceable gift…A MIRACLE - the will to live. paws4people has given me LIFE, with nothing more than a sincere “thank you” appreciated in return. There are no words to describe just how much of a difference paws4people has made in my life and many others in our community, nor could I ever find words worthy enough to thank this organization for giving me my life back.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

When an organization consistently reaches out and changes lives, they set themselves apart from the "herd" of those companies whose talk is pretty, but their results are cheap. paws4people has been an answer to prayer for me and my family. Every client I've me over the last year has the same testimony. Their singular focus on helping those of us with PTSF and disabilities is an answer to prayer. We all know that the staff is focused on clients healing, because we see it every time we speak to them. A dedicated management team makes sure every penny of donation goes to caring for a veteran or a person with a disability. I'm pleased to tell folks that I'm a client and a volunteer with an organization that changes lives every day.

3 jumpmaster4276

Client Served

Rating: 5

paws4people is the best medication for a Veteran dealing with PTSD and a TBI. This Veteran
had been through different kinds of therapy for PTSD and the interventions did help. However, there was still something missing. I really did think about it, talked to my wife about it, and prayed about it too.
I was selected to get a service dog and participated in some intensive training. I did my story board with my service dog and the bonding began. paws4people supported me, and helped my face my demons, nightmares, and negative thoughts. This agency is the real deal, what they teach and encourage, it works. I am very thankful to have paws4people in my life and they are family. Thank you, paws4people.

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

paws4vets is a awesome organization
for Veterans, people with disabilities, and individuals who have Type One Diabetes too. This organization has made my life better in ways no other medication or counseling could have.
There are more Veterans out there who need this of kind of healing to move forward in life.

3 Richard F.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

What is paws4people, paws is an amazing organization that saves lives and restores independence to clients. My experience has been nothing short of miraculous. After 20 years in the Marines my experiences were vast and to me left no scars or marks. However, after about 5 years in retirement I found myself becoming a recluse and distant from my family. This was extremely bothersome to me but I could stop. Noise and nightmares began and I just could get rest I was becoming more restless. I couldn't be around my grandchildren for extended amounts of time. I also battled shaking hands after church which may not bother some, it bothered me because I am the pastor.

In Febuary 2017, I bumped with CUMBERLAND and it was instantaneous how we clicked and seemed to bond. As we began going through the process of training we only grew closer together as a team as well as with other clients. Through more training you also find a support group and friends that can aid you through your post traumatic growth. What was the result being able sit with my grandchildren once again, being the pastor to my church that I aspired to be. Finding a true safe place to share feelings and it doesn't ever leave CUMBERLAND. CUMBERLAND provided a way for one of my one of my grandsons diagnosed autism to jump in my lap and say for the first time on his own, I love you papa and CUMBERLAND! It brought me to tears my grandson was 9 years old and non-verbal.

What is my experience with paws4people they have brought peace to a storm that was only getting crazier. Did they save my life, yes without a doubt!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

If I could give 100 stars I would.

My paws4people Service Dog MORGAN has given me my freedom back by giving me the ability and confidence to go out in public knowing I have my battle buddy with me. MORGAN provides mobility assistance for me which allows me to better contribute to my household. I also know that if I fall she will get my wife for me. Furthermore, she retreaves and carries articles for me when I am unable to such as my cane, groceries, her leash, helps me undress by removing my socks, pulling off my pants, etc., and puts them in the dirty close. She also turns on lights and opens doors for me.

When paws4people says they save lives, that is exactly what they mean, they save lies EVERYDAY! This organization is truly god sent and a tightnit family.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

paws4people is an amazing organization that has changed my life in so many ways. I first became interested in volunteering with paws4people because they helped individuals with developmental disabilities such as autism. As a recreation therapy major the UNCW SDTP was the best of both worlds for me. After volunteering with the puppies and in the SDTP for about 2 years I suffered an accident that has left me with physical mobility issues. Without missing a beat paws4people staff wrapped me in their arms and bumped me with an amazing dog WALLIS. WALLIS has made my life so complete. He is always right there to pick up things I have dropped, bracing so I am able to get up and uses the "go alert" command to get someone if I have fallen at home or in public. He has put my world back together when I never thought I could be whole again. The paws4people staff, especially Kyria Henry, are wonderful. They are so supportive and are always there to hold you up and make you feel like part of a family. I don't know where I would be without this amazing organization!!

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I began training with FRANKLIN as of December 2018. FRANKLIN is a Facility Crisis Response Dog that provides therapeutic interventions and de-stressing. I’m a police officer ( Officer Ray Rodriguez) with the UNC Chapel Hill Police Department Community Service Unit. FRANKLIN and I passed our first test in April 2018. As of April 2018 I was able to take FRANKLIN home and begin working with him. In the past 11 weeks FRANKLIN has been involved in 10 therapeutic interventions. These are students, faculty or staff in crisis that FRANKLIN was able to calm, help think clearly and heal the human spirit. It’s been such a pleasure to watch FRANKLIN working to reduce stress, calm the human spirit and provide interventions. FRANKLIN and I have had contact with over two thousand people individually or in a group setting on or off campus at de-distressing events, day care centers , pre schools, community events, boyscout meetings and other events. Everywhere FRANKLIN goes he touches someones heart. paws4people provided this dog to me to enhance my daily work experience at no cost to me, the UNC Chapel Hill Police Department or the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. paws4people provided me with a support group to include a trainer, an advocate and some of the best training I’ve been involved in. My personal life and career have been enhanced because of my relationship with paws4people. I envision the relationship between paws4people and law enforcement expanding because of bridges built between law enforcement and the community they serve. I’ve been a police officer most my with local law enforcement, state law enforcement and now in a University setting. Working with paws4people and FRANKLIN has truly been the most gratifying part of my law enforcement career. I’ve have never touched so many lives in such a short period of time. I look forward to a continued partnership with FRANKLIN and paws4people.
Officer Ray Rodriguez
UNC Police Department

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Paws for People helped us train our puppy to be a diabetic alert dog for our son Christopher. It was hard work but our trainer was amazing!!! It took about a year and a half and so worth the time and effort. Our Sugar has saved Christopher so many times!!! They have such a special bond. Besides alerting Christopher during the day Sugar has woken us up in the middle of the night several times to alert us of low blood sugars.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

paws4people is an amazing foundation and I will forever be grateful for having met them. They dedicate countless hours and energy to help both myself and the other clients. Questions are answered in a timely manner and all staff is wonderful. From the first day I met them via communication and in person, they have done everything possible to help me feel welcome and cared about; I cannot wait to see how much they grow, they're destined for great things. This foundation is the top of its class, creating new pathways for success in the Assistance Dog world and in their community.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great organization, Provides Service Dogs to Vets with PTSD and TBA also provides dogs in other areas of people needing assistance.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

A totally unique service dog organization. Most organizations just give you a dog and say good luck. This one makes sure you are getting the most help out of your dog. It totally changed my life and makes my independence possible!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have always wanted to incorporate a dog into our daily preschool activities. Receiving COLLIER from paws4people has been an amazing gift that enhances our program. The children are learning about caring for an animal, what service dogs do in our community, and many other valuable lessons. COLLIER puts anxious children at ease and motivates children to try new skills. She also encourages the development of empathy, cultivates cooperation, and helps children learn to identify feelings. The children also learn about caring and sharing as we host fundraising events for the paws4people organization. I can not even put into words all the positive ways paws4people is impacting the students at Jenkins Preschool Academy with the gift of our Faciity Dog, COLLIER.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

paws4vets has saved my life and I trust in them completely. Highly recommended organization

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CAROLINE loves working in the schools by helping kids with various disabilities! She does this through the support of Paws4People!

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Working at a juvenile detention center can be a very stressful job and a scary encounter for the youth that are detained. Being an animal lover I've always thought having a therapy dog at our facility, New Hanover JDC, would have a positive impact for everyone, but attaining the dog with all the certifications was going to be a challenge. God was working on my side when I was able to meet paws4people at a conference 2 years ago, and from there a weekly program began with the help of paws4people. Staff and kids learned about assistance dogs and how they helped their clients Our kids were also exposed to learning about giving back to others, compassion, and the responsibility of taking care of a dog. Watching smiles emerge from staff and kids, along with some laughter from interacting with the puppies and trained assistance dogs I knew we needed our very own dog for NHJDC. With the help of paws4people I was able to get SAYLOR who is now our facility dog, and the first therapy/crisis response dog to be placed in one of juvenile detention center's in NC. My experience with paws4people has been amazingly positive, and you truly become part of their family. I continue to have ongoing support from a client advocate, and my facility dog trainer, and EVERYONE IS ALWAYS SO NICE AND CARING. These folks truly care about transforming lives and making a difference for others. I will forever be grateful for receiving SAYLOR because she brings rays of sunshine to our facility with her happy bouncy demeanor. I've only had SAYLOR for about 2 months and in that time she's already making a difference. Thanks paws4people, you truly are a blessing.
Sincerely,
Sherry Cain, Center Supervisor NCDPS-New Hanover JDC

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

NIKKI and I have been a paws4people team since 2008. I am a physical therapist and work in the public school system with children with disabilities. She and I have worked with many children motivating them to meet their IEP goals. We also work in our local hospital visiting patients. NIKKI is a wonderful dog who loves people and has impacted many lives. She is now nearing a well deserved retirement. I am grateful that paws4people gave me the opportunity to use this beautiful, well trained dog. Together we have touched so many lives. My life would not have been the same without NIKKI and paws4people.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

paws4people changes lives! I am so excited to start my training with my Diabetes Alert Dog, BENSON! Having him will make my life so much better, and give me a sense of security I didn't have before!!!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a client with p4p and bumped with my dog in July 2017. I am very thankful for all that they do and excited to begin our journey together. I look forward to hopefully volunteering with the puppies and giving back to this organization as much as I can in the coming years.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

paws4people has not only saved my life, but enriched it. From the moment I became part of this organization, I also became part of the paws4people family. Before I was part of this experience, I was in an excruciatingly dark place. I was ready to give up on myself and on life. As a sort of last resort, I applied to receive one of paws4people's service dogs. I thought of it as just another treatment plan and I didn't give it much of a chance. I quickly realized that this organization is so much more than 'treatment'. It is unconditional love. It is patience and kindness. It is family. It is HOPE.

1 Caitlin11

Client Served

Rating: 5

My service dog from paws4people has saved my life so many times in so mamy ways. Also, the bonds between members of the paws4people family are something to be cherished.

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization gave me a chance when no one else would. Although I fall outside paws4people's typical client model and about 30 other service dog organizations had refused to work with someone with my disability, paws4people decided to take a close look at my application to see if they could help. When they realized that they could, they matched me with the love of my life, an uber-fluffy golden retriever named AIRLIE.

Before I got AIRLIE I was slogging through college. I was hospitalized more than once and on more than one occasion my doctor seriously considered that I should drop out of school. After I got AIRLIE I walked the stage at graduation.

Before I got AIRLIE I could not leave my house because of the crowds. I bought everything I needed off Amazon and even had groceries delivered. Now, I was able to spend this past weekend celebrating a lifelong passion in a crowd of over 14,000 people.

In addition to the lifesaving service dog they provided, the staff of paws4people has created an organization that considers every service dog handler, every staff member, and every volunteer, to be family.

2 K9USMC66

Client Served

Rating: 5

My time paws4people has been absolutely amazing! My journey started with not being able to spend a full day with my grandchildren and becoming a non-social person. Through their family values and methods of training they have equipped me to spend full days with my grandchildren and not hide in my office.

If it wasn't for paws4people and the community they provide I would be lost today. Being paired with CUMBERLAND has made life much easier on me as well as those around me.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Paws4People is an amazing organization that provides wonderful support to people who need it. From my experience with them however, they lack good leadership which is a shame. The people in charge of and those who run Paws4People are very unprofessional from my experience. My child was involved with them through a school and they pulled out before the program ended. I already had a bad experience with the women who lead this organization but wanted to give them a second chance. I am once again very disappointed with the people who run this organization.