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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Paws4People, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

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

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

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

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

Geographic areas served: Nationwide

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

Community Stories

66 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

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

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

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

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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

Client Served

Rating: 5

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

Caitlin11

Client Served

Rating: 5

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

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

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

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

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

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

1 K9USMC66

Client Served

Rating: 5

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

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

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

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

Tracey28

Client Served

Rating: 5

At 31 wks into my 3rd pregnancy I noticed a marked decrease in fetal movement. I went to the doctor thinking they would send me home and tell me everything was OK. On ultrasound it was obvious that the baby was in severe distress and had some abdominal distention- possibly a diaphragmatic hernia. His BPP only scored a 2. He was very near death and hadn't even been born yet. An emergency c-section was performed and a very sick little boy was born. His apgars were 0 & 4--not too promising. At 5 days old he was taken to surgery to remove his gangrenous small bowel. He was diagnosed with a midgut volvulus (developed in utero for no apparent reason). He lost approx. 60% of his sm bowel, had an illeostomy and also had a central line placed. During the first 2 weeks he also suffered 2 lung collapses and chest tubes and a grade 2 IVH. He was diagnosed with SBS, malabsorption, GERD, laryngomalacia, airway edema, sepsis, and failure to thrive. Later he was also diagnosed with Adrenal Insufficiency. Little did we know how long and hard his battle would be. At 6 mos. old and weighing 9lb 1oz he was finally released from the hospital and felt the sunshine on his face for the first time. The breeze took his breath away. At home with his family he began to thrive and grow in spite of all his problems and need for constant care. At 13mo he was diagnosed with severe to profound hearing loss for which he received a cochlear implant. He still requires 12hrs a day of enteral infusion feeds, many medications and constant care. He is progressing VERY WELL and God has been very GRACIOUS to us. He is 12 years old now and spite of it all he remains a happy boy with loads of personality and a smile to melt any heart. He is a true JOY and inspiration.
When Joshua was 6 yrs old he saw a Service Dog helping a blind handler. He asked me if a dog could help someone to hear. This led me on a search for an organization that would place a dog with a child...it lead me to paws4people! Josh was accepted into the program and we met MASON, the best Service Dog ever. We trained with MASON and brought him home in August of 2013. The past 3 years have been the best 3 years of Joshua's life with MASON by his side continually through each and every day and each and every clinic visit, hospital stay, and each procedure.
MASON is very highly trained and is not afraid of any situation we go through at the hospital or daily life. He does hearing and medical alerts for Joshua and goes with us everywhere. We always get compliments on how well behaved and well trained he is! Not all Service Dog organizations can compete with how well paws4people trains their dogs specifically for the individuals needs. This dog has totally changed daily life for our whole family, not just Joshua. The organization has a family approach to mending broken lives with their dogs. A life of medical complications, daily struggles, and deafness is certainly NOT what I wanted for my child, but paws4people and MASON have come to the rescue and brought an added measure of joy to this amazing little boy's life and we are forever grateful!

1 Allyson2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Paws4people has helped me slowly get pieces of my life back. With the help of my dog FLINT I have been able to live a more normal life. FLINT and I have been a team since September 2015 and he has been home with me since Feburary 2016 since then he has helped change my life. He gives me a reason to get up in the morning because I have to take care of him. He has also already helped me through some difficult times. Thanks paws4people!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

In December 2015 I met SALVI, a fun-loving black lab. SALVI will be able to provide assistance with retrieving items for me, helping me with dropped items and carrying things for me. SALVI will also help alert to anxiety and will assist with mobility when needed. SALVI will help improve my day to day quality of life. paws4people / paws4vets is the best!
R/ Rick & SALVI

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The whole paws4people organization has changed my life and the lives of my family. I served in the Army as a Combat medic of over 11 years. I served two combat tours to Iraq totaling 19 months boots on ground. As a result of my combat time I developed PTS on my return home as well as other disabling issues. My life was becoming unbearable and I didn't know where to turn or what to do to fix my issues. I turned to self medicating with drugs and alcohol. My anger and depression was consuming my life to the point I was isolating myself in my closet and bathroom all day. My doctor had mentioned a service dog to me at one of my many doctors visits. I decided to start looking for organizations that could fit my needs. A list of organizations was given to me by a friend of mine. I went down the list and did a little research on each, paws4people caught my eye. I completed the online application and within days the organization reached out to me personally. After speaking with them it was decided that I needed to fill out a long application. I swiftly returned all documents in a very short time. Once all the paperwork was done, I was invited to the bump. Thats where the potential clients get to meet the dogs and possibly have a dog pick you. I was lucky and bumped with TANNEN that day. TANNEN is a beautiful female golden retriever. I trained with TANNEN for a few months, then she was placed in my home. She has been in my home for over one year now and the difference she has made is my life is explainable. I feel alive again! I feel purpose and have a reason to live now. As before suicide weighed heavily on my mind. TANNEN is able to calm me down faster than any medication ever has and without the side effects. I'm able to enjoy myself in public again with my family. TANNEN interrupts my night terrors. The list goes on and on. My family and I are truly grateful to paws4people and paws4vets for providing us with this lifesaving dog. They truly are an amazing organization. They care! Brock S.

2 Ashley160

Client Served

Rating: 5

Paws 4 people has changed my husband's life! In early 2015, we were simply co-existing, sharing the same air. His ptsd had crippled him and robbed me of the husband I once knew. I was worried every time I left the house that I would return home to find my husband dead, by his own hands. And then we found paws 4 people, and life changed -- all on that day when he was matched with CHAMP, his service dog. And now, he has come back to us! There are still bad days, but now we are better equipped to deal with them. He and o can spend quality time together doing the things we both enjoy. He attends our kids games and recitals -- something he never would have done before. And it's all thanks to Paws 4 people, the potential they saw in my husband, and the love and support they have provided throughout this journey. These people are not simply a "group" to me -- they are truly family!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Matthew Currin I served in the Marine Corps from January 2006 to June of 2010 when I was medically retired. Some of my medical diagnoses are severe hearing loss, PTSD, major depressive disorder, degenerative disc disease with facet arthropathy, and forth nerve palsy of the right eye. I came to know my Paws4people through my best friend Charles Ladd. My days were dark and numbered before Charles came back in my life. At my lowest suicide seemed to be the only option. Charlie pulled me out of it and got me involved with Paws4people. I soon realized my life was going to change in a BIG way. This change I'm talking about came in the form of a little brown lab named CHAMP. CHAMP and I have inseparable since we met. He helps me mitigate my symptoms of PTSD, he also helps with mobility and hearing alert. He's more than just a medical tool he is my best friend. This past year has been so crazy I've made some new friends through paws4people. Actually more like family we've laughed together we've cried together. We are all here for one another. I couldn't ask for a better group of people. Paws4people isn't just a life changing organization they are a life saving one. They don't just give you a dog and send you on your way. They give you all the tools necessary to succeed and they never ever leave your side. Once you come into this family you remain part of it forever. I love my new family they gave me a reason to keep going and for that I'm forever grateful.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a graduate of the UNCW Assistance Dog Training Program and am currently a volunteer staff member with paws4people. So far, I have trained with 5 successful Assistance Dogs that have gone on to change the lives of their clients for the better. ASPEN is the 6th dog I have worked with and it goes without saying that he has changed my life.
In 2012, I went through a bout of parvovirus B-19, otherwise known as "Fifths Disease". I didn't end up with the rash that is usually associated with Fifths Disease, but I have been left with Arthritis in all my joints, primarily in my hands and knees (a 15% chance of occurring). Due to the ever-changing weather of eastern North Carolina, I am usually in some form of pain, but choose to fight through to carry on a "normal" life. I also have been fighting through Major Depressive Disorder and Panic Disorder since I was 11 years old which makes interacting in crowded, public spaces a bit of a struggle.

ASPEN has definitely made my life much more bearable with his zany personality and fatherly concern over my moods. I thank everything I believe in that he chose me to be "his" person and I know together we can get through whatever life has in store for us.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This charity saved my life, it re gave me purpose made me feel loved and cared about again. When they took me as a client I had already tried to take my life several times from suffering from major depression and ptsd from things I dealt with overseas and saw and the why not me scenario, they gave me something to believe in again and fixed my relationship with my daughter which is the most important thing to me, paws4vets gave me a second chance at life and helped me care about life again. I can't think them enough or the impact the have made.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

You won't be getting just a dog, you'll be getting a family, support system, and friends for a lifetime! Hard working staff who will expect you to work hard as well c

Client Served

Rating: 5

Truly amazing organization. The support to their client reflects there love for what they do. The dogs that are trained through this organization truly are the best, which is a blanket statement to make, however when you walk around with a service dog all day, and you see the behaviors of service dogs from other organizations, you realize how well trained your dog is in comparison!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Paws4People is a wonderful organization that trains and provides service dogs to children, veterans and others in need. They do this in a very cost effective way by enlisting inmates to train the puppies.

There is also an army of volunteers who have trained their own dogs as social therapy and educational assistance dogs to visit senior living homes as well as schools in the community.

1 Loretta L.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is such an amazing charity - the constant updates and news Kyria shares with me - and others - is integral in keeping animal rights top of mind for me and my circle of friends.

Where does she find the time!!

Loretta

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The paws4people foundation is an organization operated by volunteers that train service dogs. I believe that the most important aspect of this program is the enhancement in the lives of those who are disabled by using well-trained dogs taught with specific skills. These trained dogs are a companion and assistant, and offer those in need with a better quality of life.