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4 Paws for Ability is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to place quality service dogs with children with disabilities and veterans who have lost use of limbs or hearing; help with animal rescue, and educate the public regarding use of service dogs in public places.

4PawsforAbility

4 Paws for Ability relies on the generosity of individuals, as well as corporations, and accepts donations for operating expenses, training, food, toys, training supplies, medication, and our building fund. Fundraising occurs primarily by the applicant with the assistance of 4 Paws. Given our current facility expansion at 207 Dayton Avenue, alternate sources of funding are necessary to achieve the required renovation and expansion plans.

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The heart-felt mission of Paws for Comfort® (San Diego, California 92160) is two-fold:

1. To provide uplifting and comforting messages for those in challenging health situations as well as for the under recognized population of caregivers and loved ones, who play an irreplaceable role in the lives of those who are health challenged.

This is accomplished through Paws for Comfort’s greeting cards, which feature Toaster and her pups who are famous for providing live 24/7 no microwave heating pads for chronic muscle pain.

Paws for Comfort® greeting cards provide the means to:

  • Bridge communications by offering the words and sentiments health challenged people need to hear but some people may have a hard time expressing.
  • A greater understanding of what it is like to live with a chronic/terminal condition or disability. Through humorous and comforting greeting cards, the unique circumstances faced by those who live day to day with chronic/terminal illness, disability and their supporters are poignantly reflected.
  • A greater understanding by the health challenged of what it is like to care for and about someone with health challenges. Through greeting cards featuring expressions of appreciation, there are more acts of kindness between families and friends.

2. To increase public awareness regarding an alternative method of muscle pain relief: the rare dog breed Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless) as the unique service dog for chronic muscle pain.

Toaster whelped another mission named Xolos For Chronic Pain Relief™ (X-CPR™) when she had a litter of puppies in 2002. These precious “pup tarts” were placed across the country with people who suffer from Fibromyalgia.

Xolos offer those who live with the chronicity of muscle and joint pain a great deal of assistance as well as hope and joy.

X-CPR™ is a nonprofit 501c3, whose mission is to assist others in obtaining a Xolo who is just right for them.

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The service dogs at Canine Assistants (Milton, Georgia 30004) assist children and adults with physical disabilities or other special needs in a variety of ways. Some of the tasks the dogs perform include turning lights on and off, opening and closing doors, pulling wheelchairs, retrieving dropped objects, summoning help, and providing secure companionship. While all of these functions are vitally important in helping a person obtain greater freedom, perhaps the most impressive gift the dogs provide is social, rather than physical, in nature. The dogs eliminate feelings of fear, isolation, and loneliness felt by their companions. One Canine Assistants recipient made the value of this gift quite clear when asked by a reporter what she liked most about her service dog. Immediately, she responded, “My dog makes my wheelchair disappear.”

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In addition to service dogs and companion dogs, Canine Assistants also trains and provides seizure response dogs for certain recipients. As with some of the service dogs, these dogs are adopted from various organizations and selectively screened for personality, temperament, and general health. Following general training, seizure response dogs are trained to perform one of the following behaviors, depending on the recipient’s need: remain next to the person during the course of a seizure, summon help in a controlled environment, or retrieve a phone prior to the seizure when indicated by the recipient. Certain dogs may even develop the ability to predict and react in advance to an oncoming seizure once they are placed with their recipient.

Service and seizure response dogs have a magical effect on their recipients. They assist with physical and emotional needs – enabling a person to achieve greater independence, confidence, and happiness overall.

95% of donations to Canine Assistants go directly to the training and placement of service and seizure response dogs with children and adults throughout the country.

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The mission of Autism Service Dogs of America is to make a positive impact on the lives of children living with autism—and their families—by providing exceptionally well trained service dogs.

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ASDA’s service dogs provide a physical and emotional anchor for children with autism. With their child tethered to a service dog, families feel they are newly freed to engage in activities as simple as going out to eat. When out in the community, a service dog can increase safety and make families feel secure. In many cases, the service dog accompanies the child to school, where its calming presence can minimize and often eliminate emotional outbursts, enabling the child to more fully participate in his or her school day. Transitioning among school day activities is eased and the service dog provides a focus through which the child can interact with other children. This helps increase the opportunity for the child to develop social and language skills.

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The mission of Dogs for Diabetics, Inc. (Concord, California 94520) includes the following three elements:

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Image courtesy Dogs for Diabetics, Inc.

  • Developing, promoting, and advocating standards of quality, performance, support, and disclosure for all medical assistance dog teams;
  • Training, partnering, and supporting dogs and clients to reduce the risks associated with diabetes; and,
  • Evaluating, researching, and monitoring dogs and clients to continuously improve processes and outcomes.

By advocating for high standards by medical assistance dog providers, high quality medical alert assistance dogs will become more accepted, respected, and available around the world.

The current lack of standards for medical alert assistance dogs raises significant risks to consumers, as well as to the industry as a whole. D4D believes that standards should be established to assure quality, define performance, confirm support, and provide disclosure as to the risks and rewards associated with these unique dogs. As a seminal provider of medical alert dogs, D4D is sharing these issues to move this part of the service dog industry forward in a constructive and positive way.

In carrying out this mission, D4D is transforming the lives of its clients and the daily management of their diabetes with the assistance of these wonderful medical alert assistance dogs.

D4D joins the diabetic community in hoping for a cure of this disease; however, D4D’s purpose is to support diabetics, 24 hours a day – 7 days a week, to improve their lives today.

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The mission of Helping Paws of Minnesota (Hopkins, Minnesota 55343) is to further the independence of individuals with physical disabilities through the use of service dogs.

Helping Paws stays abreast of industry trends, unique opportunities, and community needs to ensure that its mission and core values remain on target, and it values input from staff, volunteers, board of directors, and graduates.

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International Hearing Dog (Henderson, Colorado 80640) rescues dogs from local animal shelters, trains them to assist the hearing impaired, and then places them with recipients throughout the US and Canada, free of charge.

Each dog is hand selected and placed by an IHDI trainer. Once the Hearing Dog has been placed, IHDI staff remain in contact throughout the life of the dog to provide support, advice, and guidance.

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The mission of ECAD (Connecticut, New York) is to train and place Assistance Dogs to help people with disabilities gain independence and mobility. Dogs are taught to retrieve items, open doors, activate light switches, pull wheelchairs, balance, brace, and perform many other highly specialized tasks through the ECADemy© training program. ECAD tailors each dog’s skills to the needs of  its clients, who have a variety of limitations in strength, balance, coordination or mobility.

ECAD was founded in 1995 and received 501(c)(3) nonprofit status in 1997. ECAD has training facilities in Connecticut and New York, and has placed dogs in over a dozen states.

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Guide Dogs of the Desert (Palm Springs, California 92263) improves the lives of the blind by creating opportunities for life-changing independence, and by conducting community outreach and education programs.

Guide Dogs of the Desert provides safe mobility, loving companionship and the “miracle of independence” to the blind through the use of a guide dog.

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Founded by The SW Florida Professional Dog Trainers Alliance & Jeannie Bates, PAWS for Love Assistance Dogs (Naples, Florida 34112) offers compassionate canine assistance for children and adolescents with developmental disabilites. Placement consideration is also given to adults that are challenged with mobility issues.

The PAWS for Love program screens gifted and talented canines for appropriate temperaments through shelter pets, breeder programs, and other local rescue organizations. Individualized training programs are based on the needs of each client and the supporting family.

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