Welcome to Paws 4 Independence. We are a 501 (c)(3) non-profit specialized organization providing a service dog and training to assist children, individuals and veterans with diabetes, mental illness, PTSD, seizures, and other disabilities challenging individuals on a daily basis.. We also work with many veterans with severe injuries who suffer from PTSD, traumatic brain injury and hearing loss caused while serving our country.
Our organization is different from other service dog organizations. We do not train your animal for you. We work with you to find the right animal for you, your spouse or your child. Our training is done as a team; you and your dog come to class and learn skills. We believe that the dog and their owners need to form a bond to know each other and become a team. If you already have a dog we will test it to ensure that it will be the best possible dog for your disability. If you do not have a dog we will work with you to find the right dog for your disability and living situation.
We train dogs to help their owners manage everyday challenges to improve their quality of life. For some, getting a service animal is a new start to a life they once had but lost due to an illness or injury. We train our animals to alert their owners of an impending seizure. The dog will lie on the owner until medical help arrives. Service animals are able to tell when your blood sugar is low, sending a red flag that you may have forgotten to check your sugar levels. A dog may be able to pick up an owners medicine bottle they dropped and are unable to pick up due to a disability.
We are seeing more and more of our veterans needing help with PTSD, traumatic brain injury, hearing loss and other injuries incurred while serving our country. A service animal can calm a veteran who maybe having a night terror by waking them, licking their face and calming them. They may also alert an owner with hearing loss, to let them know of a situation posing a risk.
With the many different types of reasons for needing a service animal, we keep ourselves educated in these areas so we are able to place the right service animal with the right individual. It takes testing and careful evaluation to match the service animal to the individual’s needs. We hold several classes a week for training service animals. They start at a very early age so we can teach them all aspects of obedience and service training that are required. This is an ongoing training process even after the animal has been placed with its new owner. The classes not only teach the dogs but also help the owners manage their service dog. We make visits to the Tomah Veteran's facility to reach out to new veterans who need our services but don’t know how to access it, and to continue training with the ones who are receiving our help.