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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.


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

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 5

A lovely facility and staff. Read all about it in The Underdogs by Melissa Faye Greene.


Rating: 5

I love 4 paws and hope my son gets his dog soon! 4 paws trains their dogs tailored to the needs of the person that will be using them. Great organization!

4 Chris150


Rating: 5

My grandson will be receiving a seizure assistance dog from 4 Paws next month (June 2014)! Thank goodness 4 Paws works with children who need service dogs - since my grandson is 8 years old. We have worked with this organization fundraising for this dog - and have been treated with concern and encouragement. We can't wait to take the 2 week training class. Karen Shirk has had an amazing story and has been helping children and veterans meet their needs while enabling each of them have a better quality of life.