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!


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4 Paws 5K at Young’s Dairy!

June 15, 2019 Young’s Dairy
Yellow Springs, OH

Sign up for the event today!

Follow along for sponsor updates and details on Facebook:

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.