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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Pawsitive Perspectives Assistance Dogs (PawPADs)

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Training, Animals, Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Health, Human Services, Rehabilitative Care

Mission: To enrich the lives of people with disabilities by providing them with exceptionally skilled assistance dogs; To utilize the power of the human-canine bond as a therapeutic, educational, healing tool.

Results: Our prison programs are highly praised by corrections staff and inmates for bringing a sense of hope, responsibility, and work-ethic to their lives; allowing them to give rather than take. We've placed our diabetic alert dogs with families and veterans and service dogs with veterans homes and persons with disbalities.

Target demographics: All persons with physical mobility disabilites, Type 1 and 2 diabetes, Veterans experiencing PTSD, at risk youth, federal prison inmates.

Geographic areas served: MN, WI, IO

Programs: Prison Road Puppies (Service dogs servin' time - inmates training service dogs) Project YES! (At-risk youth training service dogs while learning responsibility and leadership) SIT Program (In-training service dogs interact with developmentally disabled children and adults). Paw Corps (The dogs that come when called for the veterans who went when asked - veterans struggling with PTSD and reintegration issues train service dogs for veterans with physical disabilities).

Community Stories

92 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

11

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband is a wounded warrior...he lost a leg in Afghanistan and struggled with a lot before we got in touch with PawPADs a couple years ago. We were eventually partnered with Barkley just over six months later. Barkley is a dog who was rescued from a shelter and trained in a prison by PawPADs. Barkley changed our lives. There is not a piece of medical equipment on the planet that can do what this dog does for my husband. Barkley has given him a best friend and companion to share not only his struggles and hard times but his successes too. PawPADs has given us something we hadn't had in a few years and that's encouragement. Barkley can turn on the lights and pick things up but the best thing he does is watch out for and take care of my husband. The support we have received from PawPADs is beyond anything we have ever known. This is a nonprofit that is not only changing lives but changing the world while helping wounded warriors like my husband. I would give them more stars if I could.

Comments ( 1 )

Randy Your confidence in PawPADs encourages and inspires us! The very real-life challenges faced by Calvin and yourself are humbling. We appreciate your feedback and encouragement...Thank you! You both are inspirational role models for wounded warriors and the families that support them. Dog bless!

2 Nate D.2

Board Member

Rating: 5

During my senior year of college (2018-2019), I was an intern with the Assistance Dog Education Program and Training (ADEPT), a partnership between PawPADs and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. As an intern, I gained immense experience in service dog training/handling, participated in community education, attended ADEPT class, and led special projects in the topics of School Resource Dogs and Animal-Assisted Intervention. This experience was life-changing and the highlight of my college career.

ADEPT is a revolutionary partnership in the field of experiential education and higher education. There is no other program like ADEPT in the United States. It manages to spread the word about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Disability acceptance, animal ethics, and the power of positivity all while its student interns receive college credit toward their degree. Meanwhile, high-quality assistance dogs are ethically trained that will enrich the lives of individuals with disabilities or in group settings such as schools and assisted living communities. Student interns will also go on to graduate and continue to be advocates in their respective fields. So many lives are changed because of this program. With continued support and advocacy, ADEPT will pave the way for experiential education and utilizing the human-canine bond to enrich lives.

Comments ( 1 )

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Randy 09/14/2020

Thank you so much for sharing your story, Nate. It's wonderful to hear how PawPADs and ADEPT affected your life and career and it's inspiring to know that you are now 'passing it on' as a volunteer member of the Board of Directors. Thank you!

2 Lauren S.12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became an ADEPT intern just over one year ago, and today I couldn’t imagine my life without ADEPT and PawPADs. Coming into the program, I had never owned a dog and had absolutely no dog training experience. Over the course of my first year in the internship, I learned more than I could have every imagined about training and about the assistance dog world in general. My college experience has also been enhanced because of the PawPADs dogs. I interact with my professors, other students, and members of the public more, and I feel like I am a bigger part of the campus community. I’ve made countless memories and lifelong friendships thanks to ADEPT. These dogs have changed so many lives in such special ways and I couldn’t have asked for a better organization to be a part of.

Comments ( 1 )

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Randy 09/14/2020

Lauren, your “can-do, will-do” spirit is a valued attribute of Americans and sets a great example to our other ADEPT students. You represent PawPADs in the best possible light and that light reflects back on you as a person. Your commitment and work ethic impresses us! Your thoughts and values are important to the organization as we work to make sure our donors' trust well placed.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love this organization and everything it has done for me. I was an intern through their college program at UW River Falls. It was the best two years of my life. Before the program, I was just friends with people who were in my major and mainly just stuck to what I knew, not going out very much to do different events. The program helped to become an advocate for myself, the dogs, and people with disabilities. I became friends with and got to know so many more people through the program than I ever thought possible. I was able to educate so many people on service dogs and training of dogs in general. The program helped me to grow in so many ways, I can’t even begin to describe it. I’ve made so many life long friends and it’s all because of the amazing work that PAWPADS does and continues to do. They truly care about everyone and are trying to change the world one dog at a time.

Comments ( 1 )

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Randy 09/14/2020

Thank you so much for sharing your story, Allie. It's wonderful to hear how PawPADs and ADEPT affected your life and personal growth. It should be a great encouragement for you to see service dogs which you had such a critical part in training become part of successful teams - improving the lives of their human partners! Thank you and "dog bless"

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer/unpaid intern with PawPADs, I love the experience that I get from working with their dogs. I have learned so much about myself and how to train dogs that I could not gain from any other place. These dogs have taught me so much that words can't even describe. Being a part of the process of taking a dog from puppyhood all the way through to placement with a client has been a gratifying and amazing process to be a part of! This organization is a truly amazin organization to be a part of and I feel honored to work with Linda and her dogs to help change people's lives.

1 gracehm

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As I reflect on my time at UW-River Falls, I can’t imagine not being in the ADEPT program, the impact it had on me is hard to put into words. I not only had the amazing opportunity to train four assistance dogs and see two of the dogs that I trained through to placements with clients, but I also made lifelong friendships with my fellow ADPET interns. Being an ADEPT intern was challenging but so incredibly rewarding, each dog teaching me something new and bringing a new set of challenges and opportunities. To this day I am so proud to be able to share with others the amazing work PawPADs and the ADEPT program is doing and my experiences from the past two years. From the beginning I said that these dogs are life changers and I know that is true because they have forever changed mine.

Comments ( 1 )

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Randy 09/14/2020

After watching your enthusiasm and commitment to the ADEPT program and the dogs you've helped train, we're inspired! Thank you so much for sharing your story. You represent PawPADs in the best possible light and that light reflects back on you as a person. You're a great representative of ADEPT and UWRF and your generation!

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the wonderful experience of working with PawPads through their ADEPT internship at my university. Their organization is truly changing the lives of their clients. Through the amazing internship at my University I am learning how to handle and train the dogs as well as practicing valuable skills like adaptability, flexibility, and versatility, all useful skills for my future career.

1 Annie W.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a middle school special education teacher, and my school suffered three tragic losses in the spring of 2017. Resource and therapy dogs were brought in from the community to support staff and students during this difficult time. The following year, coworkers and I wrote a grant to obtain a school resource dog for our building to have the level of social-emotional and academic support in our building for students at all times. PawPADs made this happen! This summer, we welcomed Dani into our school community! PawPADS has been so professional and wonderful to work with, and they bring up amazing dogs. The impact that Dani will bring into our community can never be repaid.

Comments ( 1 )

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Randy 09/14/2020

Your confidence in PawPADs encourages and inspires us! The very real-life challenges faced by school staff and students today is humbling. We appreciate your feedback and encouragement...thank you and "dog bless!"

2 Alan T.1

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a volunteer for 10 years and a member of the board of directors for 5 years, I have had the unique opportunity to see this organization from many perspectives. PawPADs has changed the lives of so many within the organization and throughout the greater community. From the way volunteers are treated as family, the way our clients are meticulously matched with their dogs to achieve life changing results to the amazing leadership that guides this organization.

Comments ( 1 )

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Randy 09/14/2020

Alan, Your teamwork and enthusiasm is energizing. Your “can-do, will-do” spirit is a valued attribute of Americans and sets a great example to our other volunteers. You have devoted hours and hours of your time off and weekends to caring for our dogs and PawPADs. Your commitment and dedication exemplifies the true American spirit of volunteerism. You’ve made a huge difference here at PawPADs in every conceivable way...thank you!

1 pamwill999

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I learned about PawPADs almost five years ago when I was working in the Lakeville School District. Kali was the dog we were blessed with at our school. She was so amazingly well-trained and affectionate with everyone. I have been a weekly volunteer at this fantastic organization for four years and have enjoyed every single moment there.

The dogs come first at PawPADs. The volunteers receive extensive training so that the dogs are exposed to only positive experiences. The standards are extremely high, and the results are superior and evident in the way the dogs behave. I have never met anyone who is more caring, concerned and generous than Linda and Randy. They use the resources of the organization very responsibly, but at no time is anything put before the well-being of the dogs or the clients they serve.

I would give PawPADs TEN stars if that choice was possible. Like the dogs they train, I have never felt anything negative about the organization, the way it is run, the volunteers that serve there, or the stellar effect their dogs have on everyone they come in contact with. Thank you, PawPADs, for making Lakeville and all the communities you serve a more hopeful, safe, inspired and awesome place. You are truly making a difference in this world!

Comments ( 1 )

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Randy 09/14/2020

Thank you for sharing this story! The teamwork and enthusiasm of our volunteers energizes us! In particular, your “can-do, will-do” spirit sets a great example to our other volunteers. Thank you for devoting hours and hours of your time in the evening to caring for PawPADs' dogs and stepping up when your help is needed unexpectedly. The success of PawPADs relies on volunteers like you to work as well as it does and I think you'll agree, the folks who benefit from the partnership with the service dogs makes it all worth it.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

PawPADs in an amazing organization that makes a positive and powerful impact on our world. Hero was born in 2010, trained by PawPADs staff and volunteers, and has been working at Eastview Elementary School as our School Resource Dog since 2014. In short, Hero makes life better! When we started the School Resource Dog program we were intentional about not using "therapy dog" or "facility dog" as we wanted a program that was versatile, flexible, and adaptable. Of course, the naming of the program was a small part. of this, and the dog and the support are much bigger parts. Hero is everything we could have hoped for and PawPADs gets all of the credit for training him and providing constant support for us. With the support of PawPADs we have expanded the program, continue to positively impact the Eastview community, but have also been able to grow the program to 6 School Resource Dogs in our school district. None of the positive experiences our dogs have delivered to the members of our communities would have been possible with PawPADs and the people who choose to support this powerful and impactful organization.

Comments ( 1 )

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Randy 09/14/2020

Thank you so much for sharing the story of the road you've traveled with PawPADs Hero, and the SRD program. The very real-life challenges faced by school staff and students today is humbling and we feel fortunate and privileged to have you as part of the "team." You’ve made a huge difference here at PawPADs in many ways beyond partnering with Hero: caring for our dogs in a compassionate, generous way, providing advice and moral support and occasionally "babysitting" a dog during an unexpected need. Your encouraging words help keep us focused on changing lives with service dogs!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I did not understand the magnitude of PawPADs’ contribution until I witnessed firsthand the positive difference our School Resource Dog (SRD), Benji is making with both students and staff!

PawPADs spend multiple hours training their dogs along with many more which are spent training staff members who will become handlers of their SRD. They use great care and discernment when placing their dogs, making sure each placement is a good fit for both the dog and those who are entrusted in their care. PawPADs offers additional support with on-site visits and training. They let us know that we could reach out to them at any time for additional training, guidance; even after placement, I know they are there with continued support.

Benji quickly stole the hearts of staff members and students! All who come in contact with him are met with a joyful, tail-wagging greeting. His calm demeanor has deescalated many situations with students who are struggling with self-control or emotional issues. He has been invaluable to students burdened with anxiety who sometimes find it hard to come into the school building or make it through an entire school day. Benji inspires students who have the opportunity to read to him (he gives his undivided attention without correction or interruption).

Since the time Benji arrived at JFK Elementary, we continually think of new ways that Benji can reach students and feel as though the possibilities are endless. I believe this is a result of the foresight and creative leadership shown through PawPADS.

Benji is the sixth School Resource Dog placed in Lakeville Area Schools. PawPADs vision for education and service has made them a valuable asset to Lakeville Area Schools as well as the Lakeville Community.

It is astonishing to see how this organization can reach so many with life-changing results. The effect PawPADs has on literally everyone involved; the trainers, the volunteers, the donors, the handlers, as well as the recipients they serve and countless others through the ripple effect that is caused is Pawsitively amazing!

Comments ( 1 )

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Randy 09/14/2020

Your confidence in PawPADs encourages and inspires us! The very real-life challenges faced by school staff and students today is humbling. We appreciate your feedback and encouragement...thank you and "dog bless!"

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a Type 1 Diabetic and I was looking for a diabetic alert dog. When my family was researching we wanted to make sure we didn't get a scam. Then we came across PawPADs. They treat everyone of their dogs and clients like family. They put the dogs best interest at heart by training them to be service dogs and alert dogs so the dogs could go the route they enjoy the most. They also made sure that the dogs were a perfect match to the clients. They had us bond with our dogs and trained us to be in public with the dogs. I would not want to get an alert dog anywhere else. It also really helped that the dog wasn't nearly as expensive as most organizations. I would not have been able to raise enough money to get the dog before college if they were not nonprofit. All in all PawPADs is amazing and now I am a part of their family.

Comments ( 1 )

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Randy 09/14/2020

Thank you so much for sharing the story of your journey with PawPADs, Abbey! It's wonderful to hear how PawPADs has affected your life. We strive to make each and every donor dollar count is all respects, so that we can partner the dogs with people like you. We're so happy to have you as part of the "family!'

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at PawPADs for about 2 years now and I absolutely love it! I had been wanting to find a dog organization to volunteer at and I randomly saw a sticker in someone’s car window advertising PawPADs! Even though the way I found out about it was very random, it’s definitely not a coincidence I saw it! I so enjoy getting to know each individual dog that comes and I am so happy and proud every time they get placed in their perfect role and home. Getting to be apart of such an amazing organization is so very special to me!

Comments ( 1 )

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Randy 09/14/2020

Thank you for sharing so many hours of your time on weekends to caring for PawPADs' dogs. The teamwork and enthusiasm of all our volunteers energizes us, but the joyful, happy spirit your K9 Kare Team, in particular, brings is inspiring. To hear the laughter and occasional song drifting on the breeze while the dogs get exercise and socialization with your team is heartwarming. The success of PawPADs relies on volunteers like you to work as well as it does and I think you'll agree, the folks who benefit from the partnership with the service dogs makes it all worth it. Thank you again!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of witnessing the amazing work that PawPADs has done with their dogs they have placed. The difference that the dogs make in the lives of individuals is amazing! We are blessed to have this organization in our community.

1 Andre' C.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was invited to join PawPADS board of directors. It's been a very uplifting experience along with being very informative. PawPADS is One of the best service dog/nonprofit that is out there. Prior to getting my dog I researched all of the service dog agencies and PawPADSrose above all the others

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6

Client Served

Rating: 5

My diabetic alert dog Sage is doing so wonderful. I have had him for less than one year and my A-1 C has gone down 1.2 points which is miraculous for me. He has learned to go and get my meter and bring it to me wherever I am, he fits in great at work, great out in the public and fits in with the family like he has always been here. I can't say enough to PawPADs then THANK YOU so so much for Sage
he is a wonderful wonderful boy Who for exceeds my expectations helping me with my diabetes.
Andre' A. Coleman

Comments ( 1 )

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Randy 04/05/2015

Your confidence in PawPADs encourages and inspires us! We truly appreciate your feedback and encouragement. Your commitment demonstrates the true American value of hope and pawsitive outlook...Thank you! Dog bless!

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YHemze

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a long term volunteer and current Board President I can't say enough good things about this fantastic organization. I have had the great pleasure to see just how this organization changes lives through their innovative programs, as well as the clients with whom our dogs are ultimately placed. PawPADs has touched so many lives in so many different ways thanks to the leadership and vision of Executive Director, Linda Ball. I am proud to be part of an organization that strives to make the lives of others better, four paws at a time.

Previous Stories
4

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with PawPADs since 2011 and I am in my 2nd year as a member of the Board of Directors. I have had the great pleasure to see just how this organization changes lives through their many programs, some of which including working with veterans and youth at risk, as well as the clients with whom our dogs are ultimately placed.

PawPADs has touched so many lives in so many different ways thanks to the leadership and vision of Executive Director, Linda Ball.

I am so proud to be part of an organization that strives to make the lives of others better, four paws at a time.

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became a volunteer at PawPADs a little over 2 years ago. I was really interested in helping out at a service dog organization. There were a few to choose from in the area, but PawPADs' unique mission stood out to me. The concept of using the training process to benefit people, (of course, in addition to the end goal of placing service dogs) immediately drew me to the organization. In the 2-3 years the dogs spend in training, they have the power to change a lot of lives. I love that PawPADs recognizes that, and strives to build programs to support that concept. I even had the opportunity to participate in their University program, ADEPT. The program changed my life in ways I couldn't imagine. Additionally, it allowed me to reach out and participate in activities that reached even more people.

Marcin M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PawPADs has been changing lives of their clients for more than a decade. From army veterans to children with diabetes. The dogs they train are life changers enabling independence and freedom. Their client stories are heartwarming and bring tears to everyone who has the privilege of supporting this organization.

Madison M.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PawPads is an amazing organization that I have had the pleasure of working with for the past year. I am an intern in their ADEPT internship program at the Univeristy of Wisconsin- River Falls. Throughout this we learn how to train these amazing service dogs, communication skills, about laws, and about all these animals do for society. I am so thankful to be apart of this wonderful team and organization!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am proud to be involved with such an amazing organization doing such amazing work! PawPADs has touched so many lives and I would highly recommend PawPADs as the non-profit of choice for anyone looking to donate to a worth while organization.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great organization and great people. The dogs make a difference for so many people.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Compassion, love and kindness is what I would describe PawPads. I wanted to join a community of volunteers that made a difference. I sure found that with PawPads, I've been volunteering for Pawpads for approximately 10 years and I've learned so much. Not only from the dogs but the humans that love and cherish them as well. It's not about numbers here, it really is about the dogs and it's not work.it's pretty much play time most of the time ;). To the in depth four hour volunteer training program and the placement of assistance dogs their is always compassion, love and kindness. We're not just an organization we are family!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Paw Pads is an amazing program that can help people and animals in ways I never thought were possible. Not only do they provide the training and love for the assistance dogs they also provide a loving home or environment for other animals that may not have gotten a second chance. From "grandpa" the rescue dog that was to old to find a home in a rescue to the new miniature horse that they saved last minute they have so much love and care to give as an organization.
The dogs they train to be service dogs are the most well behaved, loving, and smart dogs I have had to privilege to meet. They can do things that I never thought an animal would be able to do. PAW Pads is really an outstanding organizations going above and beyond to give back to the community and the people/animals they help!

1

Donor

Rating: 4

I became a donor for PawPADs because it is deeply committed and true to its mission. I first met some of their volunteers when I was shopping at a "Chuck and Don's" pet food store here Minnesota and then leanred more in-depth by going to one of their information meetings. The compassion and joy that's obvious in everyone I met moves me every time. They truly make a difference in the lives of the families they serve.

Review from Guidestar

2

Donor

Rating: 4

A great organization to donate to or volunteer for. I've met some of the people who had paw Pads dogs given to them and it's sort of a miracle how their lives have been changed. They're very concious of your donation and don't waste it on anything. I love them.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hi. We all know that dogs have special powers over the humans! PawPADs has tapped into this for a wonderful community service to help others. It's been a really joyful experience to watch the dog my child works with in the "yes" school program help him gain confidence and faith in what he can do. PawPADs is a kind, joyful organization and I am grateful for what they've done for us.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was truly humbled to be welcomed as a Board Member for this great organization, PawPADs. PawPADs holistic methodology in the process of training, educating the public and thorough partner placement and continued lifetime follow up sets them apart from many other organizations in this extremely beneficial canine service world. Having watched the amazing confidence that not only a canine partnership provides to a client but to the lives that PawPADs touches through the training process and the purpose that it brings to those having difficulties, I continue to be honored to help this organization advance and spread support.

2

Donor

Rating: 4

One of the best service dog organizations around. Minnesota is lucky to have them! They do it the right way. Everyone there - the staff and volunteers - work tirelessly every day to find, train, love and prepare dogs for a life of changing lives! They take the time to make sure every dog in physically and mentally prepared to go out to a loving home so they can make a difference in the life of a disabled person. I've been donating to them for several years now and have attended their "graduations" and have seen first hand the results. A fantastic organization full of compassionate, caring people. I’d give them 5 Stars but I want them to work even harder! ;o)

Comments ( 1 )

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Randy 03/09/2016

We will be working towards that "5 Star" review! Your generosity and good will inspires us and your confidence encourages us! Your support demonstrates a great American virtue: the spirit of charity. We appreciate support in any manner and amount, 'cuz it takes a lot to keep our programs running and get our dogs placed with persons with disabilities. We cannot say "thank you" enough.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with this organization for the past 5 years and on the board for the past 3 months. I have seen many lives changed with the placement of dogs with people with physical disabilities to diabetic alert dogs and school resources dogs. I think what impresses me the most is enriching lives with the training is just as important as the placement of the dog and the willingness to train rescue dogs. This is truly a wonderful organization with a Director that knows everyone by name and your not treated as just another volunteer.

1 Alan T.

Board Member

Rating: 5

After more than 5 years as a volunteer and a board member for 2 of those years; PawPADs has never ceased to fill me with pride and gratitude. Over those years I have gotten to see the lives that have been changed by the amazing works done by PawPADs. The wounded warriors that have regained self-esteem and been brought back into a more normal life, diabetics that have a fuller and more care-free life, children who are able to be children, peoples with disabilities having greater access to the world around them. and to the people who train and have trained their dogs; life-long changes and benefits far reaching beyond just training assistance dogs. PawPADs changes lives. Here's just one example of the life that's been changed:

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Board Member

Rating: 5

As a volunteer for nearly four years and now a board member. I have seen firsthand the great work that PawPADs has done for not only its clients, but also the many participants in their ongoing programs that help troubled youth, veterans and inmates.

I can not begin to describe the amount of good that has come from this organization. It's truly touched many lives and made them better due to the efforts of everyone involved.

I strongly encourage anyone to donate, whether it's time, money or just referring someone who could be helped by our services. PawPADs is a worthy organization that changes the lives of those that they serve and those that take it upon themselves to help PawPADs achieve its Mission, Strategy and Vision.

To find out more about PawPADs: http://pawpads.org/page20aboutus.html
To Donate: http://pawpads.org/page40donate.html
To become a Volunteer: http://pawpads.org/page41getinvolved.html

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2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Kali is a School Resource Dog who assists me in my role as a Licensed School Counselor in 2 elementary schools. The knowledge that Randy and Linda have about their dogs is incredible. The skills that PawPADs has taught her are amazing. Kali helps kids going through divorce, grief, anxiety, conflict resolution and she gives students something to look forward to. Thank you for all you do!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PawPADs is such a great organization. They are wonderful to work with, are truly passionate about their cause, and really make a difference for people!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Milo has changed my life. It's so wonderful to have help with my diabetes. With a combination of his alertness to my blood sugar changes and the technology of my continuous glucose monitoring system, my low blood sugars are caught before it becomes necessary to get medical help. We're a great team!
People always say what a good dog he is, how mild mannered he is, and how beautiful he is, so he's a wonderful help to me by just hearing all the positive things people say about Milo. All the smiles he brings my way wherever I go are just another way he makes my life awesome!!

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

PawPADs is so much bigger than the individual humans who run it! The dogs change lives through their training -- from the youth at-risk and inmate trainers who have learned valuable lifeskills such as emotional regulation, self-control, giving back to the community and communicating effectively to the individuals whose lives are made better through the partnering with a service dog or a diabetic alert dog! PawPADs is not a numbers-focused organization, it's not all about how many assistance dogs can get placed -- it's about what's best for each individual dog, what's best for the program participants and, in the end, is the person they are being matched with the best possible match! The future looks exciting as PawPADs facilitates the magic of the human-canine bond in innovative and special ways!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

PawPADs is a labor of love! I know because, as the founder, it became my dream while working overseas in 2005. After attending the Assistance Dog Institute (now Bergin University of Canine Studies) for an AS degree in Assistance Dog Training I began the long journey of building an organization that I am extremely proud of!

I believe that the PROCESS of training these amazing dogs holds incredible therapeutic and educational value and it has been a joy to see those results time and time and time again whether it be with:

- the emotionally damaged Vietnam Veteran rolling around on the floor with a dog and joy in his heart
- the child unknowingly completing his physical therapy by walking and grooming a dog
- the adolescent on the verge of getting kicked out of school for the day due to repeated temper tantrums sitting calmly reading to a dog and, again unknowingly, releasing oxytocin (a calming hormone) through their system as they pet the dog
- the inmates who are became not only more humane, but more human, through the process of training their dogs, giving back to society and making a positive difference!

All of these populations are learning life lessons through the magic of working with our dogs -- they are learning emotional regulation, self-control, empathy, parenting skills and a myriad of other lessons.

And, after the worry and joy, the challenges and triumphs, the highs and the lows, to hear from the partners of the dogs we've placed sharing what an impact the dogs have made .... well, it continues to make my heart sing!

I'm EXTREMELY proud of PawPADs .... I take great pride in our ethics, our ethos and all of the hard work that EVERYONE involved with creating this organization has undertaken!

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a disabled veteran and Pawpads went out of their way to find the right dog for me that would help. I have only had him a few weeks, but already he has helped me so much with so many little things that are so hard to do on my own. He has made my life so much easier. Pawpads also offers support whenever we need it.

10

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband is a severely disabled veteran and a client of PawPADs. He sustained significant brain damage that has left him paralyzed on his left side, unable to care for himself, and with a seizure disorder. Because of these issues, my husband requires full-time care and supervision. There is no way to sugar-coat the losses he and our family have suffered. It's hard, draining, and, at times, very ugly. The realities of war live with us every day and no aspect of our lives goea unaffected.

PawPADs came into our lives at a time when I was feeling extreme fatigue and doubt as a caregiver. Our local veteran community referred us to PawPADs and our lives haven't been the same since. Despite years long waits for a service dog at other organizations, PawPADs was able to get my husband into their training camp within just weeks of us starting the application process. The staff IMMEDIATELY made us feel like part of the PawPADs family and of something very special. Since Ranger was placed with my husband, our family has changed in ways I never imagined possible. Because of the supervision and assistance Ranger can provide, my role has been scaled back. For the first time since his injury, I've been able to leave my husband home alone and know that he's safe. I've been able to let him go out into the community on his own and know that Ranger is beside him to help him. I've seen Ranger in action and know that if my husband falls, Ranger can either help him up or he can go get help (both of which he's done on multiple occasions). I don't think we've ever gone somewhere (and we go a lot of places) without getting comments on Ranger's remarkable demeanor, his impressive obedience, his obvious intelligence, and his instantly loveable personality. He's truly a remarkable dog but PawPADs turned him into an invaluable companion.

Without Ranger, my husband wouldn't have the independence he has today. Neither would I. Ranger adds a level of safety and security to our lives that I am immensely grateful for. He is my husband's safety net and my peace of mind. I cannot imagine our family without him or where we would be if he didn't come into our lives. Thanks to PawPADs and to Ranger, I get to spend more time being a wife instead of being a caregiver. There are no sufficient words to thank PawPADs for giving back to us some of what war took.

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Randy 04/05/2015

Your confidence in PawPADs encourages and inspires us! The very real-life challenges faced by Patrick and yourself are humbling. We appreciate your feedback and encouragement...Thank you! You both are inspirational role models for wounded warriors and the families that support them. Dog bless!

5

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was a volunteer on a canine care team for two years and have been a board member for four months. It has been highly rewarding expanding my role and helping PawPADs meet the needs of our clients, dogs, staff and donors. For dog lovers, I can suggest no more important volunteer opportunity. For potential donors, your money will be wisely used to raise and train wonderful canine partners for our clients. We, dogs and staff, are a big, happy family (I know it is a cliche....but true). It has been the best volunteer gig of my life.

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Randy 04/05/2015

John, your “can-do, will-do” spirit is a valued attribute of Americans and sets a great example to our other volunteers. You represent PawPADs in the best possible light and that light reflects back on you as a person. Your commitment and work ethic impresses us! As a new Board Member, your thoughts and values are important to the organization as we work to make our donors trust well placed.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at PawPads for eight months and have greatly enjoyed every minute of it.. I am on the Saturday morning canine care team where we feed, groom,train, exercise and play with the dogs and puppies. The Directors, Board Members and Volunteers are a close-knit family. We are all asked for input in many levels of PawPads operations including dog-training, event planning, cost-control, fund-raising, volunteer recruitment and others. I have met and worked with incredible people, and the interaction with the dogs is life-changing. I would highly recommend PawPads as a wonderful place to volunteer.

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rpatrick 11/05/2012

John, your “can-do, will-do” spirit is a valued attribute of Americans and sets a great example to our other volunteers. You represent PawPADs in the best possible light and that light reflects back on you as a person. Your commitment and work ethic impresses us!

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am currently serving as the secretary on the Board of Director's at PawPADs. My first opportunity as a Board member was to coordinate an appreciation dinner for the ‘backbone’ of the organization: the volunteers. At the event, I was able to meet many of the volunteers and I was amazed at their dedication to the mission of PawPADs – to train service dogs for people with a variety of disabilities. Under the guidance of the Executive Director, Linda Ball, the volunteers keep the dogs fed, groomed and socialized every day of the year. In addition to meeting the volunteers, I have also had the pleasure of meeting clients who now have a service dog and the benefits the dog has brought to their lives. For example, the diabetic alert dogs are able to tell the person when their blood sugar is low, giving the person the chance to check their blood sugar and treat it without having to resort to emergency measures. The dogs accompany the clients everywhere: home, school, work, etc. It is truly amazing what these dogs are capable of, and I am so proud to be a part of this organization!

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Randy 04/05/2015

Joan, your “can-do, will-do” spirit is a valued attribute of Americans and sets a great example to our other volunteers. You represent PawPADs in the best possible light and that light reflects back on you as a person. Your commitment and work ethic impresses us! As a new Board Member, your thoughts and values are important to the organization as we work to make our donors trust well placed.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

Wow, what an organization! PawPADS has touched so many in the community and we are happy to be a contributor to this fabulous organization. Both Randy and Linda share their devotion, commitment, and hardwork for getting dogs in the hands on those who need it most. It's amazing seeing what how two people and several dogs can create a large community of supporters. We love PawPADS and enjoy their continuous growth and movement.

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Randy 04/05/2015

Your confidence in PawPADs encourages and inspires us! We appreciate your feedback and encouragement. Your support demonstrates the American spirit of generosity...Thank you! Dog bless!

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hero is the School Resource Dog at Eastview Elementary School. Hero was trained as a service dog by the staff and volunteers at PawPADs. The amazing work that they did with this dog is now enabling Hero to enrich the lives of our students, make tough days better, help to make reading a little more exciting, offer a unique motivational tool and make our wonderful school even a little bit better! This is a small, but wonderful organization that helps to transform the lives of dogs and the people they interact with.

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Randy 04/05/2015

Your confidence in PawPADs encourages and inspires us! We appreciate your feedback and encouragement. Your support demonstrates the true American value of hope and pawsitive outlook...Thank you! Dog bless!

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Client Served

Rating: 5

PawPADs is an amazing organization that does wonderful work for a broad range of people. I have worked with and interacted with some of the individuals who have had a service dog placed with them and I have observed an amazing positive change in the quality of life for these fortunate individuals. I have been privileged to work with PawPADs staff and volunteers as they worked with students in our schools. PawPADs has been extremely generous (especially for a group with limited financial resources) and brought dogs into our schools to work with students, provide unique educational experiences and positive experiences. Staff and students who have involved never stop talking about these opportunities and the difference this organization made in their lives.

2 chris barncard

Donor

Rating: 5

My name is Chris Barncard and with the help of service dogs and Xcel Energy voluntary employee contributions, veterans can receive the therapy they need to focus on positive interactions. Recently, General Counsel’s Legal Services Engagement Committee ran a campaign to raise donations from its employees to engage with and support Xcel Energy’s commitment to helping our armed services veterans.

The campaign started with an in-house presentation of the Pawsitive Perspectives Assistance Dogs (PawPADS) program on Aug. 11, 2014, with the campaign ending on Sept. 11, 2014, commemorative of this significant date in U.S. history. Co-founders Linda Ball and Randy Patrick, along with two of their dogs in training, Breezy and Coco, came to Xcel Energy to give a presentation of their nonprofit organization through videos, demonstrations from the dogs, and by providing information of all of their programs and taking questions from the employees who attended the presentation.

The Legal Services Engagement Committee’s goal was to reach $1,000 of donations, as well as to use Xcel Energy’s “Matching Gifts” program. The Legal Services committee not only reached its goal, but went over it. With the generous donations of $1,095 and $800.00 in matching gifts, a total of $1,895 was raised for this worthwhile organization.

As the initiator of this campaign, I would love to encourage other corporations, companies, families etc. to organize a fund raiser as we did in our Legal Services Department at Xcel Energy, Inc. in Minneapolis, MN. Linda Ball, Randy Patrick, Patrick Ziegler and their dogs are a wonderful visual for potential voluntary donors to educate themselves of this amazing organiziation through visuals, listening, education and an open forum for questions. PawPADS and their founders (and dogs) are amazing and I highly recommend supporting our armed services veterans and these beautiful, intelligent and amazing dogs who provide such the help and companionship needed.

Chris Barncard

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Randy 04/05/2015

Your confidence in PawPADs encourages and inspires us, Chris! We appreciate your enthusiasm and encouragement. Your efforts and the support of you and your Xcel Energy colleagues demonstrates the very true American spirit of generosity and hope...Thank you! Dog bless!

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

There is nothing worse than finding someone you love in a state in which you are so helpless. Having been a diabetic for nearly 40 years, and over the last few years having episodes of extremely low blood glucose levels to the point of being found unresponsive. My wife and I finally decided it was time to look into a Diabetic Alert Dog for her.

Because most of our research had to be done on-line we had to sort out which reviews where honest reviews from people and which were put up on websites because it's just good marketing. During our long 6 months of searching we found plenty of operations that had what we thought we wanted, but discovered that they didn't really have what we needed. We found plenty that will give you their next available “puppy” no matter how far away you are, and with books and a general lessen send you on your way to complete the training and a couple times a year they might check on you to see if the dogs training is going ok. Then there were those that will give you a dog that is older and has more training. But again distance was no big deal for them. After speaking with a couple of these places we felt more like a number not people. Others even had pretty big ego’s and wanted us to know how good they were and how many dogs they place every year. Either may have gotten us a D.A.D. which is not what we needed.

We finally found PawPads. From our first contact we knew they were the right choice. There was no feeling like a number, there was no ego, just a love and passion for what they do. Finally we had found what we needed not just what we wanted. From the application process to finally visiting their facility, we could feel the passion behind the voice and in the smile on the face. Linda and Randy have surrounded themselves with loving, compassionate volunteers who share the same passion and goal, to make a difference in some one’s life. The love shows in the way the dogs are loved and cared for as if they were everyone's child. And it continues with the time and energy spent on the training the dogs receive.

Andre’ was partnered with D.A.D. Sage after an intense "Partner Training Camp". We learned that we weren't just given the next dog available, we had options, just in case a dog just doesn't take to their potential new partner. Because after all this is for life, the dog has to equally like the person. We found out that Sage was named after a local young boy whom was taken much too young. Of course this makes Sage even more special and is just another example of how PawPads shows their love and is there to a part of the community. After training camp was complete we didn't feel like we were just sent on our way home. Instead we felt as if we had become a part of something much larger....we were now part of the PawPads family and we couldn’t be happier. We left knowing that no matter what kind of question we may have, someone would be there to answer. Even if it’s just to call and say Hi.

We've been home with Sage now for about a month and his skills and training have far exceeded our expectations at this point. He has on multiple occasions alerted to both high and low blood glucose levels, often well before the meter can tell. We have no doubt that he will continue to educate us with his intelligence and just get better with time. His unconditional love even brings a calming to what is normally a hectic day.

It's hard to describe in words the happiness, the joy, the thankfulness we have for what PawPads has given us. But because of their efforts we rest a little easier knowing we have a new family member in our home to keep a watchful "nose" on Andre’s wellbeing.

Thank You so much Linda, Randy and all your volunteers, because what you do Makes a difference.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

There are truely not enough words to describe the gift we have been given by this incredible organization. My son Kyler was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes 3 years ago. It has been an uphill battle of constant care and sleepless nights. Low blood sugars have controlled every aspect of our lives since the day he was diagnosed. The constant fear that your child is going to have a severe low blood sugar episode and having to check to make sure he is still breathing in his sleep is overwhelming to say the least. You never stop worrying. With jobs suffering and a marriage feeling the strain we were desperate for relief. It was then we found PawPads! We were Placed with a Diabetic Alert Dog just over six months ago. This dog has transformed our lives. Recon was the missing link in Kyler's care! He has given us what we never thought possible...Piece of mind! We still eat, sleep and breathe diabetes but we are no longer struggling for relief. Recon let's us know if kyler is low and most times he alerts before the low actually happens. There is not a piece of medical equipment on the planet that can do what this dog does and that's only part of what Recon does. for a 10 year old Boy who is feeling different and is beyond sick of missing out on life because he lives with a chronic illness. Recon has given him reason to embrace this horrific disease that will follow him for life. This dog has given him a best friend and companion to share not only his trials and tribulations but his triumphs. Kyler has a new outlook on life because of his Diabetic Alert Dog and I have piece of mind knowing that Recon is there to look out for him. PawPads has given us something we haven't had in 3 years and that's hope! The support we have received from them is beyond anything I have ever known. The selflessness of Those who run PawPads is the most inspiring thing I have ever had the opportunity to be witness to in all my life. This is a nonprofit that is not only changing lives but changing the world with their positive outlook and devotion to others.

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Randy 04/05/2015

After watching your family and Recon for these past many months, your dedication and enthusiasm humbles us! Your commitment to making your son's life safer while making yours better is inspiring.

4 Stuart D.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of working with PawPADs for the last few years. During that time I have been impressed by the care they provide for their dogs, their willingness to adopt rescued dogs into their program, their involvement in the prison training program, the dedication they display to their mission and the positive impact they have had on their community. The assistance provided by PawPADs trained service dogs is truly life changing for those suffering from a variety of disabilities. If you are looking for a worthwhile organization to receive your donated time and/or money, PawPADs deserves your consideration.

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Randy 04/05/2015

Your support and advise these past years is inspiring and a bit humbling. Thank you. You’ve made a huge difference here at PawPADs in many ways: caring for our dogs in a compassionate, generous way, providing advice and counsel from puppy care to caring for a geriatric dog, sharing your financial and moral support, and on and on...Thank you and "dog bless"

4 Jeri J.

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful organization that is helping dogs and people alike. They are providing a great service to our state by training dogs to be able to help people with disabilities, veterans and people with diabetes! They are also helping our state by having their dogs be trained by prisoners throughout the state. Prisoners benefit greatly from this experience and it helps them to become better citizens!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer. This organization is honest , and works very hard in the care and training of their dogs. They are a "Great Non-Profit" and I look forward to their on going success.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My family was looking for a volunteer opportunity and was refered to PawPads by another volunteer. As dog lovers, we expected to enjoy the experience, but we became inspired by the passion of the founders and the mission of the organization. From sensing blood sugar levels to doing laundry, it is amazing to watch these incredible dogs in action! Our family also had the honor to attend a graduation ceremony for a group of PadPad dogs. We met the individuals and families the PawPad dogs are helping, and heard their stories of how these dogs are making a significant difference in their lives (there wasn't a dry eye in the room). Our family is so proud to play a part in helping this wonderful organization!

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Randy 04/05/2015

Your confidence in PawPADs encourages us! The support and efforts of volunteers demonstrates a great American virtue: the spirit of cooperation. We appreciated your families efforts in many ways, as it takes a lot of work and organization to keep our programs running and get our dogs placed with persons with disabilities. We're certain that your children will be role models among their peers! dog bless!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at PawPADs for almost 4 yrs. They are such a great organization!! Randy & Linda's love for what they are doing is obvious! They work so hard to help people with the training of their special dogs. This is what they do 7 days a week. I love seeing the puppies grow & it's amazing all that they are trained to do. Randy & Linda treat everyone like family & the dogs are treated like royalty. Placing the dog with the right person is most important to them. They love each & every dog & want to make sure they do what is absolutely the best for that particular dog. I wouldn't continue volunteering 3 mornings a week if I didn't absolutely believe in them!!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Almost 3 years ago I was looking to volunteer some of my time somewhere. It was then that I saw an article about PawPADs in our local paper. Since I have a love of dogs, I found it to be very interesting & they were looking for volunteers!! I contacted them, went to a volunteer meeting, & that's where it all started. Randy & Linda's enthusiasm is contagious!! You can see/feel it in the dogs, the other volunteers. Randy & Linda give 1000%. They have devoted themselves to train dogs to help other people, & this is what they do 7 days a week ... no days off. I know my life has been enriched. I'm typically at PawPADs 3 mornings a week. We have so much fun getting the dogs ready for their day. I also feel like I have an extended family, & that Randy or Linda would do anything to help me if I should ever need it. I feel that way with the other volunteers as well. I can't say enough good things about PawPADs & what Randy & Linda are doing!! Of course it's fun to be around the dogs, but volunteering for Randy & Linda is really fulfilling as well. They really appreciate everything everyone does & it shows!! I just couldn't have found a better place to volunteer!!

1 Allison36

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great people! Amazing impact on the community! I have personally seen the amazing joy their animals have brought to others.

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Donor

Rating: 5

I'm a special education teacher in the south metro and our program at school has had PawPADs come into our classroom to work with our students for the last 3 years. PawPADS volunteers haul the dogs to our school where they instruct our students with mental health conditions and behavior disorders on training these beauties to some day assist others with disabilities. We have assisted in training dogs that have been placed with Veterans, children with diabetes, and others with physical impairments.

As you can imagine, "dog day" is one of the favorite days of the week in our building. I could tell stories of how students have had terrible days, until the dog enters the room. The unconditional love of these pooches and how they change attitudes, demeanors and feelings is indescribable. The lessons our students have learned about training, has been transfered to how to treat people, learn patience, persistance, increase self-esteem, and self-control. I hope we can continue to keep this organization around for a very long time, so we can sustain our training in helping others in our communities....SS- Lakeville

1 June D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was looking for an organization where I could volunteer on a regular basis but hadn't found anything I was enthusiastic about until our UPS driver mentioned that he volunteered with service dogs every Saturday. He told me more about it and I contacted PawPads through their website and got an email back right away. I went to the training and have been volunteering weekly since April 2012. I'm impressed with the dedication of the founders and the volunteers and with the wonderful, brilliant service dogs they train. I love being part of an organization that does something positive for animals and for humans at the same time. I can't say enough good things about PawPads.

Debbie41

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering with PawPADs 3 1/2 years ago. I knew immediately it was an organization that I wanted to be part of. I saw the passion and commitment that Linda and Randy had for this labor of love and felt an instant connection with them and the dogs. Seeing puppies come and trained dogs go can be hard at times......we grow to love them so!!........but we know what the objective/goal is - to provide well-trained dogs that will help change a life for someone. I do feel that I GET more than I can GIVE. I agree totally with others that said the PawPADs volunteers and staff are like family. I love going to "work" 3 mornings a week to be with the dogs and be with my second family! Linda and Randy always listen to our thoughts, ideas, and concerns. Together, we do hope to make a difference in lives that need hope, help and lots of love (doggie kisses!). I plan to be a volunteer with PawPADs for many years to come!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I can't say enough about what PawPADS has meant to me and my students! While we have had an animal-assisted intervention program at Kenwood Trail Middle School for quite a few years, last year was our first working with the Project YES staff, and it was clearly our best year yet. The staff is dedicated to helping others, and their hard work has resulted in smiles, enthusiasm, and motivation on the faces of our students.

The PawPADS and Project YES team is clearly a class act, and I look forward to working with them for many years to come!

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is an awesome organization run by exceptional people. Our son was matched with a wonderful lab and they are absolute best buds. It has been amazing to watch them grow together. Pawpads helps so many families and I wouldn't hesitate to refer anyone to them. They train amazing pups!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am writing to express my sincere thanks and appreciation for all of the work and dedication of the Project YES staff. The 2013-2014 school year, marked our 9th year of running an Animal Assisted Intervention program at Kenwood Trail Middle School. While it was our first year working with the Project YES team, it was by far our best!

Our program is made up of male and female students in 6th, 7th and 8th grade who have social-emotional and/or behavioral disabilities. They have more obstacles than their peers and we have always felt they were in need of out of the box support and programming to meet their individual goals in life. Our students quickly became fans of the service animals in training that came weekly to our school. I lost count of how many times during the week students would ask “is it a dog day,” “are the dog’s coming Thursday?”

While most of our students had been exposed to dog’s from our former programs we saw quickly the student’s increased motivation and interest in working with dog’s that would eventually be placed with to help someone with a disability. Our student’s seemed more invested in training the dog’s “correctly” and showed ownership in their work. I have numerous anecdotal stories of student’s growth as a result in working with our four legged friends. Students improved their frustration tolerance, communication, and team work as a result of training the dog’s for a higher purpose.

Our program’s success would not have been possible without the professionalism, expertise, and flexibility of the amazing volunteers and staff working with Project YES. Our partnership with PawPADs for the past three year has added so much to our program. The entire staff is top notch and doing great work.

I look forward to continuing our partnership with PawPADs and the Project Yes team at Kenwood. It has been a phenomenal year and I am grateful to all of the staff that made this possible.
Photos

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a board member and volunteer for several years now I have witnessed firsthand the difference PawPADs is making in the lives of clients, students and volunteers. PawPADs diabetic alert dogs work each day and night alerting their partners to drastic changes in their blood sugar levels giving them and their loved ones one more layer of security and confidence. Other PawPADs service dogs aid their partners with everyday tasks from picking up dropped items to steadying them while they walk. In the past few years I’m happy to say PawPADs has also grown and expanded to include two prison programs in Sandstone and Duluth, MN. Inmates in both these facilities train service dogs with a dedication and enthusiasm they would never have an opportunity to express without the PawPADs prison program. This is why I think PawPADs changes lives each and every day.

It is my hope that after reading this and other reviews on this site that you feel inspired to help PawPADs grow by supporting us with your tax-deductible donation. Your donation will support these and future efforts at PawPADs and help change the lives of those in our community.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

My first experience with PawPADs was as a volunteer more than two years ago. From that first day as a volunteer to today as a volunteer and board member I cannot say enough great things about this organization. The commitment of Linda and the other staff is unrivaled in their drive and dedication to better the lives of people with physical disabilities and other medical conditions with the help of K9 partners. In the past few years PawPADs has grown from one litter of rescue dogs to an organization with two prison training programs, several school programs and a variety of other community outreach initiatives. Their work has touched the lives of veterans, school children, prisoners and volunteers alike with the help of the human K9 bond. The easiest part about volunteering at PawPADs is meeting new puppies and knowing what a huge difference they will one day make to someone who just needs some four legged assistance in their lives. The hardest part is saying good bye to those once puppies as they start their new lives with their human partners. Getting started at PawPADs is easy attend an information session and experience for yourself what a difference a few hours of your time can make.

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rpatrick 11/05/2012

Your confidence in PawPADs encourages us! The support and efforts of our Board demonstrates a great American virtue: the spirit of cooperation. We at PawPADs appreciate support in any manner, as it takes a lot of work and organization to keep our programs running and get our dogs placed with persons with disabilities.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been assisting the PawPads organization for several years now and have witnessed first hand the important impact these wonderful dogs have on the lives of their trainers and the folks that they are placed with upon completion of their training. The results and the impacts of the process are priceless for those they touch.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Eric L:

PawPADs is a great organization to volunteer for!!!!! Linda and Randy are awesome and will drop everything to help the dogs and volunteers. I have volunteered ever since I had the training class in 2012 and I enjoy every min of it, I would never have imagined I would give so much of my time to this great organization but this is an awesome program, And I will continue to donate my time to PawPADS as long as they allow me to.

Thank you Linda & Randy for allowing me and my fellow puppy parole officers the opportunity to participate in this program….

Beth A.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

PawPADs is a small organization, making a big, positive impact on the lives of many.

One of the differences that sets PawPADs apart from other service dog organizations are the programs we offer. One of my favorites is a Social Integration Therapy (SIT) program where we have been working with an elementary school for the past two years. I worked with special education students and with students who did some on-on-one reading with dogs. The dogs helped to motivate students to work on tasks that might otherwise feel daunting: such as the child that had many tantrums when it was time to work on range of motion tasks from his wheelchair, but would happily push a block off his tray in exchange for a dog kiss from Recon after he retrieved the block and brought it back to the tray and the student who was not confident reading aloud and who, by mid-year was reading loudly and with great expression to Hero, Ranger, Iko and others. The student’s faces would light up when they saw the dogs and actually, so did the faces of the staff members! There were times when teachers would stop by just to get their “puppy fix” and they commented that, “they really needed that,” and that it would help them get through the rest of the day. The dogs are positively impacting many lives before they are even placed with their partners.

I feel very lucky to be part of the PawPADs family, to be able to work with the dogs – and reap the benefits of the human-canine bond and to be a part of a wonderful organization that enriches the lives of many people.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

PawPADs, not only enriches the lives of those with whom the dogs are placed. The benefits of the canine-human bond extend to everyone who participates in the programs offered, as well as to those of us who volunteer.

Volunteering at PawPADs has been very therapeutic to me; I enjoy working with the dogs, the directors and the other volunteers.

When I first started at PawPADs, my shifts were two days a week for about a couple of hours each. Working with Linda and Randy and seeing their devotion to the dogs and their mission to not only train and place service dogs but also to develop programs that enable others in the community to work with the dogs and reap the associated rewards, has inspired me to come to the training center more and more and it has become a place I want and need to be. I see and feel the passion and it is contagious.

When I initially inquired about volunteering, one of my first questions was whether or not there would be other volunteers on my shift because I had just come from a situation where I was volunteering alone and it was an uncomfortable experience. Linda responded that I would definitely not be alone and that some of the other volunteers even stuck around after their shift to visit and enjoy coffee. It’s true, some of the other volunteers and I have become friends, and we socialize after getting our work done and even when we’re not at the training center. I have come to think of PawPADs as a second family.

Going to the training center, training the dogs on my own and working with students in the school programs has been very rewarding. I cannot help but get excited when the dogs respond to a command and seeing a student light up when the dog works for them feels even better. I am extremely fortunate to be a part of this organization and the great things we do!

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rpatrick 11/05/2012

Beth, your dedication and enthusiasm humbles us! Your commitment and dedication exemplifies the true American spirit of volunteerism. You’ve made a huge difference here at PawPADs in every conceivable way: training and caring for the dogs, creating a school program for the dogs to work with elementary school kids, and on and on...Thank you!

Randy P.

Advisor

Rating: 5

I am the Director of Operations/Development here at PawPADs.
I want to share a little about our Volunteers, Donors, and Supporters, and Clients: the people that really make PawPADs successful and make a difference in so many lives.
As we all know from our own experiences with people, personal relationships can go a long way. These relationships increase our understanding of the people we work with, give us insight as to their motivations and capabilities, and develops mutual trust. Our “family” has gone far of their way to develop personal relationships with PawPADs, and we all share a joint vision of what we are and where we are headed. I hope you’ll share the vision too after reading our reviews.
Volunteers: many of our volunteers have been with us for months or years. Some came looking for a “one off” opportunity or a short term commitment and have become a family. Their “can-do, will-do” spirit is a valued attribute of Americans and sets a great example to all our neighbors. They have devoted thousands of hours…time off from work, weekends, mornings, evenings, holidays, day time…to caring for our service dogs, training them, and representing PawPADs in the public. They build and clean and laugh with each other and the dogs. Their commitment, teamwork, and enthusiasm energizes us!
Donors: The average cost of raising and training a service dog is between $20,000 and $25,000. Because of generous supporters like them, we're able to partner our service dogs with those who need them at minimal cost or for free. Their financial support provides the resources needed to team with our prison and school partners, veterans, and those with developmental and physical challenges. From individuals to foundations, families, organizations, and companies, their contributions in any amount plays a crucial role in getting the dogs from puppy to partner. It demonstrates yet another American quality: the spirit of generosity. Your generosity and good will inspires us!
Clients: Our clients’ lives are enriched and empowered by their partnership with skilled assistance dogs and diabetic alert dogs. Inmates, teachers, students, and veterans utilize the power of the human-canine bond as a therapeutic, educational, healing tool. We create powerful, life-enhancing experiences through working with dogs - as the very act of working with, being around and training these dogs can be therapeutic and life-altering in profound ways. Their confidence in PawPADs encourages us!
If not for all of the above, there would be no PawPADs. I sincerely hope that you, as a review reader, find what you are looking for in a nonprofit in PawPADs and want to become part of our family of Volunteers, Donors, Clients. Thanks, and Dog Bless You!

1 Lynn35

Board Member

Rating: 5

My initial contact with PawPADS began from just a love of dogs. I wasn't in a place where my life allowed me to have a dog so I thought being a PawPADS volunteer would give me a perfect "dog fix". Little did I know how much more this organization had to give. The passion that Linda, Randy and the rest of the staff and volunteers show is amazing! As a board member I have been able to watch from behind the scenes as PawPads has grown and touched lives not only in the local community but throught Minnesota and beyond. Watching the dogs work in their roles be it alerting to a blood sugar or opening a door always gives me to know what an amazing partner they will be for someone someday.

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rpatrick 11/05/2012

Your confidence in PawPADs encourages us! The support and efforts of our Board demonstrates a great American virtue: the spirit of cooperation. We at PawPADs appreciate support in any manner, as it takes a lot of work and organization to keep our programs running and get our dogs placed with persons with disabilities.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been touched by PawPADs personally and professionally. The impact I see these dogs have on the lives of those around me amazes me on a daily basis. Folks that come in to contact with these dogs are able to learn/strengthen skills of caring, compassion, humanity, patience, and many other variables that tend to erode over time with this specific subset of the population. Interactions with these dogs in training are soothing to the mind, body and soul. They inspire joy, warmth and growth for their handlers and everyone involved with the development of a serve dog to be.

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rpatrick 11/05/2012

Your confidence in PawPADs encourages us! We value and appreciate professional advise and insight from people like you, as it takes a lot of resources to keep our programs running and get our dogs placed with persons with disabilities. You are truly making a difference in people's lives - as our dogs make their ways into service with those with disabilities.

1 John91

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PAWPads staff and volunteers are awesome and fun to be around. My intention was to volunteer for roughly 3-6 months. But when I started getting to know Linda, Randy, and also the service dogs I realize that this is something I want to do for a very long time. I've been volunteering for over 2 years and will continue to do so for many more years.

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rpatrick 11/05/2012

The teamwork and enthusiasm of all our volunteers energizes us! Their "can-do, will-do” spirit is a valued attribute of Americans and sets a great example to our other volunteers. They have devoted hours and hours of their time off and weekends to caring for our dogs, training them, and representing PawPADs in the public. We couldn't exist without our volunteers! Thank you!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I cannot find words to adequately express how amazing PawPADS is as an organization. The various programs touch so many people's lives. I have diabetes and have experienced the dogs-in-training, working, receiving 'alerts' 20 minutes before my low blood sugar registers on my glucometer. This is EXCITING. Linda and Randy are welcoming, appreciative and really care about people and the puppies/dogs (all creatures). Their positive approach to life, their organization and training is contagious.

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rpatrick 11/05/2012

Your confidence in PawPADs encourages us! We value and appreciate advice and insight from people like you, Renee, as it takes a lot of resources to keep our programs running and get our dogs placed with persons with disabilities. You are truly making a difference in people's lives - as our dogs make their ways into service with those with disabilities.

1 K  P

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PawPads has been a huge part of my life recently! The dogs are so wonderful, but even more wonderful are Randy and Linda who run the day-to-day operations. The positive attitude, encouragement, and fabulous pups that we get by interacting with this organization has really enriched my life and that of my family. We are super lucky to get to contribute to shaping the lives of the dogs and those of future people in need through this organization. I'm also noticing that I say "yes! thank you!" a lot more! :)

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rpatrick 11/05/2012

Your teamwork and enthusiasm energizes us! Your “can-do, will-do” spirit is a valued attribute of Americans and sets a great example to our other volunteers. You have devoted hours and hours of your time off and weekends to caring for our dogs, training them, and representing PawPADs in the public. The Prison Road Puppies program relies on people like you, Kathy, to work as well as it does. Thank you!