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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

4 Paws For Ability Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Training, Animals, Autism, Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Disabilities, Health, Human Services

Mission: Provide companionship and promote independent living for children and veterans with disabilities.

Programs:

Autism Assistance Dogs

Most requested and most often placed, Autism Assistance Dogs have the ability to track a child that has wandered off, keep the child with the caregiver in public, and are trained to respond to a child’s repetitive behaviors to stop the behavior(s).

 

Hearing Ear Dog

Assist the hearing impaired by alerting them to the presence of a sound in the environment. The dog learns to respond to verbal and hand signals and work for toys or affection. It is trained to make physical contact and lead someone to the source of a sound.

 

Mobility Assistance Dog

Increase the independence of someone who uses a wheelchair, has trouble standing, and/or with ambulating such as people with spinal cord or brain injuries, Multiple Sclerosis, Spina Bifida, and Cerebral Palsy. These dogs can be taught to help pull a manual chair up a hill and retrieve dropped items among many other tasks.

 

Multipurpose Assistance Dog

A creative solution for someone who does not fit into one category, which includes people with multiple issues or diagnoses such as Down Syndrome, Fragile X, ADHD, or mental health issues.

 

Seizure Assistance Dog

Trained to complete a variety of tasks from alerting to behavior disruption. Seizure medications often cause behavioral or balance issues and the dogs can help to stabilize the child by wearing a harness that the child can hold. The dogs are trained to remain calm in a chaotic environment and can recognize an impending seizure and signal the child's caregivers before it happens.

Community Stories

31 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a foster in the 4 Paws for Ability University Program for 1 year now and I am about to start my second year. I go to the College of Wooster and one of the main reasons I chose the school was because of 4 Paws for Ability.

Snickerdoodle, a golden lab and golden doodle mix, was the primary dog my house fostered for the year and it was the best year I could have ever had! Not only did Snickerdoodle graduate, but he went to a sweet girl who had medical issues and needed Snickerdoodle to help her live a for fulfilling life.

4 Paws for Ability does monthly meetings for College/University fosters to voice any unusual issues they might be having with their dog and to receive advice on how to fix those issues as well as it gives fosters a chance to ask general questions and receive feedback that could be helpful for other fosters. I bring up these meetings because everytime I went with my foster dog, Lynn Agee, our University Program Coordinator, has been very patient and understanding of our issues and ensures that we are all socializing our dogs in the best environments possible as well as makes sure the dog's health is top priority.

I would like to conclude by saying that every couple meetings I attend at 4 Paws headquarters will include a story of a family whose life has changed because of 4 Paws for Ability. And every time I hear one of those stories, I put all my stress from the homework, tests, and paperwork that 4 Paws for Ability requires us to keep up to date on aside and remind myself that by if I am able to get our foster dog to graduate (which I have already done once and hope to do again next year), I am helping not just the person who needs the dog, but also their family who may be looking after that person.

I thank 4 Paws for Ability for showing me that fostering and socializing a potential service dog is more than just taking it to different places and having the dog meet new people. Foster and socializing a service dog is one step closer to giving a child or veteran with medical disabilities a new chance at living a fulfilling and happy life. I will forever be grateful for having the opportunities that 4 Paws provide in helping achieve this goal.


Volunteer

Rating: 5

4 paws for ability is such a great organization! I was privileged to foster a puppy for 2 semesters in college and loved every moment of it. I've loved watching the organization grow and hearing the stories of families who receive service dogs. 4 paws is really making a difference all across the country!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A great organization doing great work! We have been puppy raisers for 6 months and love the experience!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a foster for 8 service dogs in training for 4Paws and puppy sitter for even more, and I have seen two of my pups so far placed with loving families, with another currently in training. These service dogs change lives for the better, and I have seen it firsthand. 4Paws is able to place service dogs with their partners quickly so that the people in need don't have to wait longer than necessary, but the dogs are also trained by fantastic trainers so that only the best dogs graduate.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had two fosters with this organization and love helping these pups along their journey. 4 paws is a great organization to support.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I fostered two service dogs in training with 4 Paws for Ability through their college foster program. It was truly an amazing experience. I've never seen a community join together like 4 Paws has. I'm so blessed to have been a part of it, and hope to continue fostering!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I have been puppy raisers for almost 2 years. This is one of those organizations that really allow the volunteers that serve to get "as much" as the recipients. The dogs that 4 paws breed for this amazing journey are absolutely fantastic and teach the volunteers a lot about love, patience and loyalty. We have also learned so much about the families that are the recipients of the dogs. The dogs not only help the children and veterans but can change the entire family's lives. When you walk into 4 Paws you can also sincerely feel the love that all the employees have for the dogs and the organization. 4 Paws is absolutely wonderful for both the volunteers and those who receive the dogs.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a puppy raiser for 4 Paws for Ability has been one of the best experiences in my life. It is an honor to be able to be a small part of making children and veterans' lives better.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined 4 Paws as a University Program foster and the experience, people, and dogs have been amazing. The program is a great way to build experience working with dogs as well as help build a potentially life-changing opportunity for someone else.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am so thankful for the opportunity that 4 Paws has given me.. being able to be a volunteer and foster Momma for such wonderful dogs is true gift. The work that 4 Paws does to make families happy is incredible. Thank you for all you!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization has changed my life for the better! I am a college foster, and my time spent with the dogs and learning about all the dogs can be trained to do has opened my eyes up to the world around myself. This organization changes lives for the better, and I am so thankful to be a part of it.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was introduced to 4 Paws for Ability just over a 2 years ago when a family member was fundraising for a service dog for their son with autism. Now as a volunteer puppy raiser, and with a placed service dog in the family, I have seen the full range of the incredible process and high standards that is 4 Paws for Ability. From intentional breeding of only the very best dogs exhibiting the required traits and strengths, to the socialization that further separates these dogs from others. The advance training and evaluations that match dogs to their forever clients is nothing short of incredible! These dogs are life changing to their placed families, and life changing to the many loving hands that prepare them for their service. I can't speak high enough of 4 Paws for Ability and all they do for those they serve and their precious pups!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What an amazing organization! Our family volunteers as puppy raisers, our role is to socialize and teach basic commands. We have met SO MANY amazing people that also work with 4Paws or even the surrounding communities that recognize the emblem on our puppies vest! We are proud to have even a small role in impacting someone else's life and teaching our own children about inclusion, and the world outside of themselves. We love 4Paws!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I consider myself primarily a volunteer, followed by my roles as donor, and staff (performing contract work in social media, website, etc.). I have been involved with 4 Paws for more than 5 years, having raised 11 service puppies. We are a guardian home to a breeder dog in their program. Being involved in so many ways allows me to see how carefully thought out decisions are made within the organization and how careful they are to carry out their mission effectively and efficiently. The volunteer program has grown immensely from my first days, and each day they are working to both expand and enhance the experience for volunteers while ensuring the most important mission goals are met through this work. As a donor, it pleasing to see that the information provided in the annual report and the yearly financial reports supports their achievement and growth.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

About 3 years ago I moved states and began college at the University of Kentucky. I knew not a single person at this school let alone in Kentucky. I became part of 4 Paws for Ability at UK and began fostering service dogs in training and it has truly changed my life. This program gives individuals with disabilities a second chance at life. 4 Paws for Ability has changed so many individuals with disabilities lives, but this program has also changed my life. This program has taught me respect, patients, time-management, selflessness, and so much more, but above all, this program has taught me to give unconditional love to a service dog in training, keep it for months, and then allow it to move on to do bigger things and know that this dog will do amazing things in an individual with a disabilities life and I was a small part of making that huge process happen. 4 Paws for Ability has helped me become a better person and it is truly one of the most amazing programs!

Tina Y.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My son was just placed in a class for a multi purpose service dog for his autism, TORRETTEs, IED, OCD, ADHD, and severe anxiety. This is a wonderful non profit organization who helps children with all different types of disorders regardless of age. They even help Vets in need. I would not recommend any other agency. They have provided a safe place for parents and children to talk, share, and listen. One big happy family! I also recently decided to give back by volunteering and fostering a future 4 PAWS SD.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter fostered 3 dogs. The attention to detail in training, placement, care and feeding, is first class. I've seen the difference it has made in lives. Cannot say enough positive remarks about all involved. Tremendous leadership, caring and love.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Absolutely love this program this organization and everything it does and stands for.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

4 Paws is a fantastic organization and I am so glad to be a part of watching magic happen

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love to donate to a great cause. Currently am also puppy raising a Papillon destined for the service dog program. Can't wait to see some lucky child with one of these great dogs.