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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

72 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

10

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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

1

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

1

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:

Previous Stories
6

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.

Comments ( 1 )

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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.

Comments ( 1 )

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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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4

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.

Comments ( 1 )

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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!

Comments ( 1 )

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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.

4 YHemze

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.

Previous Stories
3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PawPADs is a great organization and I'm proud to be associated with it! They take a main goal, training service dogs for people with physical mobility disabilities and Diabetic Alert Dogs, and use that to help a variety of people from veterans, to inmates, to youth at risk. I love the idea that the act of training is used to help others develop in their lives and the end result is enriching the lives of people with disabilities.

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