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2019 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

57 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

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

Previous Stories
1

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

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.

Previous Stories
1

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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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.

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

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

Previous Stories
2

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!

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.

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.

Previous Stories

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.

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.

1 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!

1 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.

2 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
1

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.

1

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 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!

1

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.

2

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!!