PAWS Assistance Dogs
What began as a small outreach group in 2009 has grown into the vital organization - PAWS Assistance Dogs, Inc. Founded and incorporated in 2012 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization, PAWS Assistance Dogs, Inc. provides fully trained and certified service dogs to combat-wounded American veterans and children with disabilities. Preference is given to those living in Southwest Florida.PAWS is proud to say that our dogs are always placed at no cost to those they serve.
As we receive no government funding of any kind, we are dependent on the generous support of organizations, companies and individuals to provide the financial means needed to accomplish our mission. PAWS dogs spend up to two-and-a-half years in an intensive training program that includes socialization, obedience and detailed task training.
Each dog performs community service throughout their training period and contributes to various outreach programs such as the David Lawrence Center, Collier County Library reading programs for children, senior centers, hospitals, children's facilities, schools and other local organizations.
Once a dog graduates and upon placement with a veteran or child, these highly skilled canines are able to pick up dropped items, open and close doors, retrieve medical supplies, provide balance assistance and alert hearing impaired individuals to certain sounds. After an applicant and a dog are paired, the dog undergoes additional training to meet the specific needs of its handler.
The PAWS Puppy Project was created in late 2013 with a goal of bringing up to 15 new puppies into the training program each year.
PAWS works with carefully selected breeding programs or our in-house program which allows us to carefully control the quality of the dogs and select each for the proper traits for service work.
PAWS moved into a 6,000 square foot facility in 2014 allowing our organization to improve our ability to serve the community and build greater program capacity. The state-of-the-art training center operates 24 hours a day to ensure that all of our dogs receive the quality of care they deserve and the training they require to become PAWS service dogs.