How does 4 Paws for Ability meet the needs of children with seizures?

It means training a dog that is unique in what it does for each child. Most agencies will not work with children, especially very young children.
4 Paws for Veterans

To honor the many service men and women who are still suffering from the conflicts of war, 4 Paws for Ability will be making service/assistance dogs available to help them lead a more independent life.
4 Paws for Ability Expands its Training Services.

A new training center has just opened in Anchorage, Alaska. 4 Paws for Ability Alaska received its first 4 Paws puppies in December and is busy preparing them for placement.
FASD: It’s Not Just A Phase

It’s going to last a lifetime. Everyone said “Don’t worry, she will outgrow that.” Your gut told you otherwise. Family members consoled you, “Oh, every boy acts like this at four!” That’s not what you thought.
The 4 Paws Story

I can still clearly remember the day I envisioned 4 Paws For Ability and began the journey toward a dream that would help people like me who had to live with disabilities. It was fall, and my service dog, Ben, and I sat behind our Ohio home watching the leaves drift lazily from nearby trees.
Make A Dream Come True

I see and feel the world around me differently than you do: loud noises make me run and cry. Large groups of people, even my family, are more than I can handle.
Donating a Puppy

When a breeder contacts 4 Paws For Ability to donate a puppy, they have questions and we have questions. We have a plan to begin the process of doing both. Along with this handout, which we hope will answer your questions, is a question and answer form we need you to complete and return to answer ours.

Join us at the 2020 Magic Reimagined Virtual Gala

As 4 Paws turns 22, and the world presents new challenges, our gala is Magic Reimagined with the support of friends and family like you.
4 Paws has laid the foundation, but growth and improvement are limitless. Magic Reimagined is a spirit, a mission, an operating plan. It’s a commitment and a promise to continue growing for each client who needs our help, for each puppy in our program, and for each staff member and volunteer who commits their time to ensuring we place the most amazing service dogs. May we never be too old to use our imagination to propel our dreams into reality!
We are hoping to see our long-distance virtual options be just as successful as our past onsite events, but we know this will take a lot of help from our friends, family, and supporters! Here are all the ways you can help:
-Buy a Virtual Gala Ticket and join us on October 10 on our livestream!
-Make a donation to our gala in support of 4 Paws for Ability
-Purchase a 4 Paws Gala t-shirt
-Join our silent auction page on Facebook and bid on items during the event:

Special thanks to our event sponsors, who support 4 Paws near, far, and 2020 social distancing style!

  • Eisai – Champion Sponsor
  • James Investment Research – Top Dog Sponsor
  • Heidelberg Distributing
  • Jean Ali Family

Finally, sincere thanks to The Mandalay Banquet Center & Catering for the continued support of 4 Paws for Ability and for allowing us to move our in person event to a future date, when we will all hopefully be able to gather together again!

Providing Service Dogs to Children Worldwide

4 Paws for Ability enriches the lives of children with disabilities by training and placing quality, task-trained service dogs. This provides increased independence for the children, and assistance to their families. And 4 Paws also works with veterans from recent conflicts who’ve lost the use of their limbs or their hearing while in active combat. In all cases, the results speak for themselves. Lives are transformed.

Our founder, Karen Shirk is alive today because of a service dog, Ben. Karen was home after open-heart surgery when a deadly mix of meds left her barely conscious and fighting for life. The phone rang and rang. Ben finally picked it up and placed it beside her, then began to bark. It was her dad, and he rushed over and got her the help she needed.

Please help this astonishing nonprofit agency continue to build its meaningful work. Your support will be a life-changing act for a child, a family, a dog, and for you. (It’s more than a project!)


Service Dogs for Children

Want to get a quick look inside the life of a 4 Paws family?  Check out this video and learn more about why 4 Paws is so passionate about placing service dogs with children!



Upcoming Events!

Costs for Service Dogs

  • At 4 Paws for Ability it costs at least $40,000 to train and place a service dog with a disabled child.
  • Through our partial payment for service model, our families can pay or engage in fundraising activities to cover the fee.
  • The fee for a service dog is $17,000.
  • 4 Paws service dogs are required to be re-certified annually with 4 Paws to maintain their skills and public access proficiency. There is no fee associated with this requirement and service dog recipients are not required to travel to 4 Paws.
  • It costs about $1,500 – $2,000 to maintain a service dog each year, or about $100 a month, for proper veterinary care, food, equipment, etc.