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2016 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

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


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!

Randy P.


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!



Rating: 5

As a marketing communications consultant, I developed a marketing plan and provided direction to help PawPADs achieve its goals of raising its awareness in the community, with potential clients and prospective donors. Through the process, I've been impressed with the organization's ability to do so much with an enthusiastic group of volunteers and limited financial resources. Donors' contributions are certainly used wisely and volunteers' time respected. The best outcome, however, is the positive impact on the lives of the prison inmates, school children, veterans and volunteers who work with the dogs, and then ultimately, the clients who get a dog. I'm happy to have provided pro-bono services to PawPADs, and to become a donor and volunteer in other capacities.

Comments ( 1 )


rpatrick 07/18/2012

Thank you for your wonderful thoughts and views! “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ― Margaret Mead