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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

20 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

9

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!

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

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

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!!

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!

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hero is the School Resource Dog at Eastview Elementary School. Hero was trained as a service dog by the staff and volunteers at PawPADs. The amazing work that they did with this dog is now enabling Hero to enrich the lives of our students, make tough days better, help to make reading a little more exciting, offer a unique motivational tool and make our wonderful school even a little bit better! This is a small, but wonderful organization that helps to transform the lives of dogs and the people they interact with.

Comments ( 1 )

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Randy 04/05/2015

Your confidence in PawPADs encourages and inspires us! We appreciate your feedback and encouragement. Your support demonstrates the true American value of hope and pawsitive outlook...Thank you! Dog bless!

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

PawPADs is an amazing organization that does wonderful work for a broad range of people. I have worked with and interacted with some of the individuals who have had a service dog placed with them and I have observed an amazing positive change in the quality of life for these fortunate individuals. I have been privileged to work with PawPADs staff and volunteers as they worked with students in our schools. PawPADs has been extremely generous (especially for a group with limited financial resources) and brought dogs into our schools to work with students, provide unique educational experiences and positive experiences. Staff and students who have involved never stop talking about these opportunities and the difference this organization made in their lives.

5 Andre' C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My diabetic alert dog Sage is doing so wonderful. I have had him for less than one year and my A-1 C has gone down 1.2 points which is miraculous for me. He has learned to go and get my meter and bring it to me wherever I am, he fits in great at work, great out in the public and fits in with the family like he has always been here. I can't say enough to PawPADs then THANK YOU so so much for Sage
he is a wonderful wonderful boy Who for exceeds my expectations helping me with my diabetes.
Andre' A. Coleman

Comments ( 1 )

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Randy 04/05/2015

Your confidence in PawPADs encourages and inspires us! We truly appreciate your feedback and encouragement. Your commitment demonstrates the true American value of hope and pawsitive outlook...Thank you! Dog bless!

Previous Stories
5

Client Served

Rating: 5

PawPads has made a world of difference in my life. My diabetic alert dog has really made a wonderful change in my life along with my husbands. I can not say enough about this organization. The assistance, the ongoing training, support and dedication has far exceeded my expectations along with my husbands. Thank you PawPads for all your do and all you've done. Brad and Andre'

Comments ( 1 )

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Randy 02/26/2014

Your confidence in PawPADs encourages us, Andre'! We can't tell you enough how proud we are of Sage and the hard work you've put in to be a loving partner for him and helping him be a productive "guardian" of your blood glucose levels. Thank you, and "dog bless!" Randy Patrick Director of Development Pawsitive Perspectives Assistance Dogs (PawPADs) 8239 150th Street West | Savage MN 55378 phone (612) 643-5671

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

There is nothing worse than finding someone you love in a state in which you are so helpless. Having been a diabetic for nearly 40 years, and over the last few years having episodes of extremely low blood glucose levels to the point of being found unresponsive. My wife and I finally decided it was time to look into a Diabetic Alert Dog for her.

Because most of our research had to be done on-line we had to sort out which reviews where honest reviews from people and which were put up on websites because it's just good marketing. During our long 6 months of searching we found plenty of operations that had what we thought we wanted, but discovered that they didn't really have what we needed. We found plenty that will give you their next available “puppy” no matter how far away you are, and with books and a general lessen send you on your way to complete the training and a couple times a year they might check on you to see if the dogs training is going ok. Then there were those that will give you a dog that is older and has more training. But again distance was no big deal for them. After speaking with a couple of these places we felt more like a number not people. Others even had pretty big ego’s and wanted us to know how good they were and how many dogs they place every year. Either may have gotten us a D.A.D. which is not what we needed.

We finally found PawPads. From our first contact we knew they were the right choice. There was no feeling like a number, there was no ego, just a love and passion for what they do. Finally we had found what we needed not just what we wanted. From the application process to finally visiting their facility, we could feel the passion behind the voice and in the smile on the face. Linda and Randy have surrounded themselves with loving, compassionate volunteers who share the same passion and goal, to make a difference in some one’s life. The love shows in the way the dogs are loved and cared for as if they were everyone's child. And it continues with the time and energy spent on the training the dogs receive.

Andre’ was partnered with D.A.D. Sage after an intense "Partner Training Camp". We learned that we weren't just given the next dog available, we had options, just in case a dog just doesn't take to their potential new partner. Because after all this is for life, the dog has to equally like the person. We found out that Sage was named after a local young boy whom was taken much too young. Of course this makes Sage even more special and is just another example of how PawPads shows their love and is there to a part of the community. After training camp was complete we didn't feel like we were just sent on our way home. Instead we felt as if we had become a part of something much larger....we were now part of the PawPads family and we couldn’t be happier. We left knowing that no matter what kind of question we may have, someone would be there to answer. Even if it’s just to call and say Hi.

We've been home with Sage now for about a month and his skills and training have far exceeded our expectations at this point. He has on multiple occasions alerted to both high and low blood glucose levels, often well before the meter can tell. We have no doubt that he will continue to educate us with his intelligence and just get better with time. His unconditional love even brings a calming to what is normally a hectic day.

It's hard to describe in words the happiness, the joy, the thankfulness we have for what PawPads has given us. But because of their efforts we rest a little easier knowing we have a new family member in our home to keep a watchful "nose" on Andre’s wellbeing.

Thank You so much Linda, Randy and all your volunteers, because what you do Makes a difference.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

There are truely not enough words to describe the gift we have been given by this incredible organization. My son Kyler was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes 3 years ago. It has been an uphill battle of constant care and sleepless nights. Low blood sugars have controlled every aspect of our lives since the day he was diagnosed. The constant fear that your child is going to have a severe low blood sugar episode and having to check to make sure he is still breathing in his sleep is overwhelming to say the least. You never stop worrying. With jobs suffering and a marriage feeling the strain we were desperate for relief. It was then we found PawPads! We were Placed with a Diabetic Alert Dog just over six months ago. This dog has transformed our lives. Recon was the missing link in Kyler's care! He has given us what we never thought possible...Piece of mind! We still eat, sleep and breathe diabetes but we are no longer struggling for relief. Recon let's us know if kyler is low and most times he alerts before the low actually happens. There is not a piece of medical equipment on the planet that can do what this dog does and that's only part of what Recon does. for a 10 year old Boy who is feeling different and is beyond sick of missing out on life because he lives with a chronic illness. Recon has given him reason to embrace this horrific disease that will follow him for life. This dog has given him a best friend and companion to share not only his trials and tribulations but his triumphs. Kyler has a new outlook on life because of his Diabetic Alert Dog and I have piece of mind knowing that Recon is there to look out for him. PawPads has given us something we haven't had in 3 years and that's hope! The support we have received from them is beyond anything I have ever known. The selflessness of Those who run PawPads is the most inspiring thing I have ever had the opportunity to be witness to in all my life. This is a nonprofit that is not only changing lives but changing the world with their positive outlook and devotion to others.

Comments ( 1 )

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Randy 04/05/2015

After watching your family and Recon for these past many months, your dedication and enthusiasm humbles us! Your commitment to making your son's life safer while making yours better is inspiring.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I can't say enough about what PawPADS has meant to me and my students! While we have had an animal-assisted intervention program at Kenwood Trail Middle School for quite a few years, last year was our first working with the Project YES staff, and it was clearly our best year yet. The staff is dedicated to helping others, and their hard work has resulted in smiles, enthusiasm, and motivation on the faces of our students.

The PawPADS and Project YES team is clearly a class act, and I look forward to working with them for many years to come!

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is an awesome organization run by exceptional people. Our son was matched with a wonderful lab and they are absolute best buds. It has been amazing to watch them grow together. Pawpads helps so many families and I wouldn't hesitate to refer anyone to them. They train amazing pups!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am writing to express my sincere thanks and appreciation for all of the work and dedication of the Project YES staff. The 2013-2014 school year, marked our 9th year of running an Animal Assisted Intervention program at Kenwood Trail Middle School. While it was our first year working with the Project YES team, it was by far our best!

Our program is made up of male and female students in 6th, 7th and 8th grade who have social-emotional and/or behavioral disabilities. They have more obstacles than their peers and we have always felt they were in need of out of the box support and programming to meet their individual goals in life. Our students quickly became fans of the service animals in training that came weekly to our school. I lost count of how many times during the week students would ask “is it a dog day,” “are the dog’s coming Thursday?”

While most of our students had been exposed to dog’s from our former programs we saw quickly the student’s increased motivation and interest in working with dog’s that would eventually be placed with to help someone with a disability. Our student’s seemed more invested in training the dog’s “correctly” and showed ownership in their work. I have numerous anecdotal stories of student’s growth as a result in working with our four legged friends. Students improved their frustration tolerance, communication, and team work as a result of training the dog’s for a higher purpose.

Our program’s success would not have been possible without the professionalism, expertise, and flexibility of the amazing volunteers and staff working with Project YES. Our partnership with PawPADs for the past three year has added so much to our program. The entire staff is top notch and doing great work.

I look forward to continuing our partnership with PawPADs and the Project Yes team at Kenwood. It has been a phenomenal year and I am grateful to all of the staff that made this possible.
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3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been touched by PawPADs personally and professionally. The impact I see these dogs have on the lives of those around me amazes me on a daily basis. Folks that come in to contact with these dogs are able to learn/strengthen skills of caring, compassion, humanity, patience, and many other variables that tend to erode over time with this specific subset of the population. Interactions with these dogs in training are soothing to the mind, body and soul. They inspire joy, warmth and growth for their handlers and everyone involved with the development of a serve dog to be.

Comments ( 1 )

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rpatrick 11/05/2012

Your confidence in PawPADs encourages us! We value and appreciate professional advise and insight from people like you, as it takes a lot of resources to keep our programs running and get our dogs placed with persons with disabilities. You are truly making a difference in people's lives - as our dogs make their ways into service with those with disabilities.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been fortunate to have dogs and trainers from PAWPADS come into my special education classroom. It has been a wonderful partnership that means so much to my students, their families and the entire school. My students are given time to interact with the dogs and their trainers in a positive and supportive situation that makes them feel special and successful. Many times the dogs are a comforting and calming presence in our classroom in a way that cannot be fully described. The kids and dog just melt into one another! It has been a very rewarding experience and I feel very fortunate to have such a great group of volunteers willing to come and be a part of our classroom each week.

Comments ( 1 )

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rpatrick 11/05/2012

Your confidence in PawPADs encourages and inspires us! We can't thank you enough for your support and allowing the dogs into your classroom. The interactions and exposure the dogs get in these situations are valuable to them as the make their way into becoming true service dogs. Thanks to teachers such as yourself, with your sincere "can-do, will-do” spirit, our children are getting the education they deserve. Thank you!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am writing to express my sincere thanks and appreciation for all of the work and dedication of the Project YES staff. The 2011-2012 school year, marked our 7th year of running an Animal Assisted Intervention program at Kenwood Trail Middle School. While it was our first year working with the Project YES team, it was by far our best!

Our program is made up of male and female students in 6th, 7th and 8th grade who have social-emotional and/or behavioral disabilities. They have more obstacles than their peers and we have always felt they were in need of out of the box support and programming to meet their individual goals in life. Our students quickly became fans of the service animals in training that came weekly to our school. I lost count of how many times during the week students would ask “is it a dog day,” “are the dog’s coming Thursday?”

While most of our students had been exposed to dog’s from our former programs we saw quickly the student’s increased motivation and interest in working with dog’s that would eventually be placed with to help someone with a disability. Our student’s seemed more invested in training the dog’s “correctly” and showed ownership in their work. I have numerous anecdotal stories of student’s growth as a result in working with our four legged friends. Students improved their frustration tolerance, communication, and team work as a result of training the dog’s for a higher purpose.

Our program’s success would not have been possible without the professionalism, expertise, and flexibility of the amazing volunteers and staff working with Project YES. Working with various organizations over the last 6 years we can say this was the most enjoyable experience we have had to date.

I look forward to continuing our partnership with PawPads and the Project Yes team at Kenwood. It has been a phenomenal year and I am grateful to all of the staff that made this possible.

Comments ( 1 )

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rpatrick 11/05/2012

Your confidence in PawPADs encourages us! Your commitment and enthusiasm energizes us! We value and appreciate the professional advice and insight from people like you, as it takes a lot of resources to keep our programs running and get our dogs placed with persons with disabilities. You are truly making a difference in people's lives - as our dogs make their ways into service with those with disabilities.

Review from Guidestar

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son, Nicholas, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was 3 years old. He can do anything any other child can do but it is very scary to put your diabetic child to bed. Your child can go into a coma and never wake up if blood sugars are too high or too low. When I learned about Diabetic Alert Dogs, I contacted Pawsitive Perspectives Assistance Dogs. We met with Linda Ball and a couple dogs later, we met Kachina. Kachina is the most wonderful dog ever. She came to our home February 25th, 2012. We truly believe she was meant to be with our family. When she was placed with us, we found out our neighbor volunteers at PawPads. Our UPS delivery man knew of Kachina via John that volunteers at PawPads. At soccer, our YMCA referee had volunteered with PawPads. They all knew Kachina and told us that we were very lucky to have her. She has alerted us many times now and in many different ways. She nudges with her nose, she paws, she whines, and she sniffs like crazy. At the time of Nick's diagnosis, I thought that Nick would never be able to go to college or live on his own. We are so reassured that he can leave the house now. She is such a blessing and she just puts a smile on our faces every single day. What a gift!

Comments ( 1 )

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rpatrick 11/05/2012

Your confidence in PawPADs encourages us! Your enthusiasm energizes us! With Kachina by your family's side, you all do an amazing job representing PawPADs in the public - a true compliment for Kachina and your family. Your story inspires and gives confidence to those families facing the challenges of managing diabetes and the health of their chidren. Thank you.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Sioux Trail Elementary School participated in the PawPADs Social Interaction Therapy program. Personal relationships go along way and these relationships increase our understanding of the individuals we are working with, give us insight as to what works, and develops long lasting connections. At Sioux Trail, our mission is increasing student achievement and developing strong personal relationships with children and their families is key part of this work.

This year we added the PawPADs Social Interaction Therapy (SIT) program to our toolbox and it has been instrumental in assisting in increasing student achievement through the development of relationships and identifying the needs of each individual child. The success of the PawPADS SIT program at Sioux Trail is best characterized by a couple of stories.

Sioux Trail Elementary School is home to two classrooms specifically structured around the needs of students with severe cognitive or physical disabilities. This is where the SIT Program got its start at Sioux Trail. The SIT program at Sioux Trail is designed to benefit both the dogs and the students. While I lack the qualifications to evaluate the benefit of the program on service dogs, I am a keen observer of the amazing benefits we see on our students. Many of the students in these classrooms lack the ability to communicate using words in the way that you and I do, but it is easy to read the excitement on their faces when your talented volunteer arrives with one of the PawPADs service dogs. When the students work together with the trainer and the dog we observe an increase in their motivation to work on skills such a developing gross motor skills by tossing items, which the dog then practices the commands “get it”, "bring it here" and "give," as well as others. Teachers have observed students who are reluctant to leave their wheelchairs or other adaptive equipment to go for a short walk change their attitude. When they get to walk Rio or other dogs around our school, they will go for a 45 minute walk, which for the students in this program is physically challenging experience. A final example is what the simple, yet indescribable joy of petting and sitting with a dog does for a student who is blind or has limited mobility. The connection that the dogs are making with our students are unlike any that we can make.

After the successful implementation of the SIT program with students in our Special Education classrooms, a teacher asked a devoted PawPADs volunteer if the program could be expanded to allow students to sit and read with a PawPADs service dog. The teacher and PaPADs volunteer identified a similar personal passion, researched the idea and developed a program that will have long lasting impact on students and their ability to fluently read grade level appropriate text. We are now fortunate enough to have at least two service dogs in our school once a week, who are read to by students who are reading below their grade level. After working with students in the special education classrooms, the PawPADs trainer and a dog move to our intervention classroom where they are joined by an additional trainer and dog team who pick cozy locations to read with students. The word of mouth about this opportunity spread like wildfire and we have great numbers of students requesting time to read with a PawPADs dog. Students now get a ticket in the morning if they are going to read with Ranger, Hero or another service dog and the smile that lights up their face is a clear indication of their excitement. Recently, a student was walking down the hallway and a staff member asking how his day was going “Two days until the dog comes” he replied. In addition to the joy that the students express about this opportunity, we are seeing measurable outcomes as well, such as in increase in performance on standardized reading assessments, selection of reading materials close to grade level, a newfound passion for sitting still and reading for more than 15 minutes and an increased desire to find book they like.

A final story is one from the entire student body. Each year our student council selects one charity to raise money for and they had completed this fundraiser earlier in the year. After seeing the impact of the PawPADs service dogs at Sioux Trail, our student council representatives asked about organizing a second fundraiser to benefit the PawPADs organization and the work Pawsitive Perspectives Assistance Dogs is doing. What is significant about this to me is that a small portion of Sioux Trail students have the opportunity to connect with Bravo or another service dog during the day, yet all students see the benefit an want to support the work that is happening at Sioux Trail. This says good things about our students, but it says great things about the work you are doing and the connections that the dogs are making in a wide-variety of ways.

In closing, I am grateful for the partnership with Sioux Trail and the positive impact that the PawPADs organization, volunteers and dogs are having on Sioux Trail students, families and staff.

Comments ( 1 )

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rpatrick 11/05/2012

The teamwork and enthusiasm of the staff Sioux Trail Elementary School energizes us! The dogs get the best interactions and exposure to a wonderful group of kids and situations. Thanks for letting PawPADs be a part of such a great place.

Review from Guidestar