2 Weeks ONLY – Support 4 Paws via Simple Dog Project!

By | Charity, Fundraising, Miscellaneous

Web_bannerFrom August 1st to August 15th, our supporters can go to www.simpledog.org to purchase bumper stickers and magnets with proceeds going to assist in our mission to place more service dogs with the people that need them! All you have to do is select “4 Paws For Ability” from the drop down menu during check-out. And to make it even easier, 4 Paws appears first on that list!

Started as a fun and simple way to raise money for puppy mill rescue, the Simple Dog Project supports more than 175 community pet welfare agencies in the USA and Canada. For every Simple Dog bumper sticker and magnet sold, Simple Dog donates $5 to the approved pet rescue charity shoppers choose. Your dollar goes directly to the cause of your choice:

  • puppy mill awareness
  • local shelters
  • service dogs for the disabled and veterans
  • your favorite dog breed rescues
  • pit bull rescue and advocacy
  • feral cat assistance
  • help for low income pet owners
  • pet food banks
  • community spay and neuter programs

It’s an affordable and fun way to show your 4 Paws love, and there are several to choose from. For instance, here are a couple I am considering:


Click here and go to Simple Dog Project to make your purchase before time is up!  

Thanks for your support!   



Just Released – June/July 2013 4PawPrints Newsletter!

By | Charity, Fundraising, Miscellaneous, Service Dog Stories

Screen Shot 2013-07-25 at 2.35.52 PMHot dog! Summer is in full swing and the June/July 2013 4PawPrints issue has now been released and can be viewed HERE. We would love for you to add it to your summer reading list!

If you have yet to peruse the pages of 4 Paws For Ability’s bi-monthly newsletter, now is a great time to start! Each issue is filled to the brim with 4 Paws related news, inspirational stories, important info for dog-owners and of course, adorable pup pics. And this most recent edition is no exception!

Here is just a sampling of what you can look forward to in this issue:

  • Safety Awareness: A look at potential dangers and Piper’s story of survival – This particular article is a MUST READ for anyone with a dog in their care. Read about our Founder’s terrifying recent encounter and other vital precautions to keep your dog safe!
  • CNN visits 4 Paws! – Here you can read the incredible story of one of our June grads, Jake Murphy and his journey to be united with service dog Gabriel; a story which garnered national attention.
  • June class photos – Meet our most recent alums!
  • Sound Off! – This page provides links to offer feedback, share your stories and possibly be featured in an upcoming issue!
  • The Legacy of Hawke Falzarano – The touching story of a young boy and his family’s mission to save the lives of others.
  • Litters – See a listing of the newest 4 Paws litters along with pics of our fresh-faced cuties!
  • So much more!

You can click the links above or the picture below to be taken to our newsletter. Go on and enjoy the read. You’d be barking mad not to!

Screen Shot 2013-07-29 at 11.53.48 AM

NC High School Senior lends her talents

By | Charity

DSC_0151One of the many blessings associated with being a member of the 4 Paws For Ability family is the numerous random acts of kindness we are so fortunate to witness. One example of such generosity came to us by letter last month from a young girl in North Carolina. Below is her letter:

To: 4 Paws For Ability

From: Elizabeth Marshburn

Subject: Donation to 4 Paws For Ability in honor of William Dedmond

“Enclosed is a donation totaling $815.00 to 4 Paws For Ability in honor of William Dedmond.

I am a senior in high school and I coordinated a talent showcase to raise money for William to get a service dog. William’s mom shared any funds raised over the $13,000 she needed would go toward helping another child.

I hope this donation not only helps William, but may help another child too.”


From William’s family and all of us at 4 Paws, thanks Elizabeth! Your efforts and selfless support goes a long way to help!

2 Weeks ONLY – Limited Edition 4 Paws Shirts!

By | Charity, Fundraising

Starting on Monday, July 15th, 4 Paws fans can show their support via a t-shirt campaign through NiceShirts.org!

The organization uses shirt design and sales as a means to raise funds for a variety of charities and causes. For us, they designed a beautiful green shirt with the slogan, “Enriching Lives” on the chest. Our name, “4 Paws For Ability” is listed underneath the logo. Proceeds from each sale go to benefit the 4 Paws mission.

Additionally, NiceShirts.org also offers customers the ability to easily add on a supplementary donation to 4 Paws in a variety of amounts. Using this feature is simple and convenient and helps to get us even closer to our goal!

But if you want one of these nice shirts, you’ll have to act quickly!

The promotion will last only two weeks, ending on July 29th. Once NiceShirts.org closes the 4 Paws store, the t-shirts they designed are gone for good!

Click on the shirt below to be taken directly to the store, and share the page with others so they may have the same opportunity! Thanks everyone!


Go to Sephora at The Greene in Dayton, OH starting June 1st to support 4 Paws!

By | Charity, Fundraising

S E P H O R A + 4 Paws For Ability

Beauty is Inside and Out as Sephora Launches the YOU + SEPHORA Cosmetic Collection To Benefit 4 Paws For Ability!

Sephora and 4 Paws For Ability have partnered on a special cosmetic collection to benefit the placement of service dogs with children with disabilities and military veterans. The YOU + SEPHORA cosmetic collection will be available starting Saturday June 1st and features a covetable clutch, glitter eye liner, lip gloss and nail polish. Sephora USA, Inc. will donate $13 for each bag sold in-store to 4 Paws For Ability.*

YOU + SEPHORA features:

  • 1 collectable cosmetic pouch, perfect for purse, travel or gym bag
  • 1 mini lip gloss in a dusty pink shimmer finish, apply over your favorite lipstick or wear alone
  • 1 mini gold glitter liquid eyeliner, wear alone or layer to brighten the glitter effect
  • 1 mini nail polish in a warm champagne metallic finish, the finishing touch for your summer ensembles

4 Paws For Ability is honored to have been selected by the Dayton, Ohio SEPHORA store located in The Greene shopping center, as their chosen organization in the YOU + SEPHORA campaign.

4 Paws for Ability is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization based out of Xenia, Ohio, whose mission is to enrich the lives of children with disabilities and veterans from recent conflicts who have lost the use of their limbs or their hearing while in active combat by the training and placement of quality, task trained service dogs.

Mary Herald, Sephora’s Executive Vice President of Human Resources and Education, said, “At Sephora, our continual mission for Values Inside Out is to inspire and engage our teams to play a part in making a difference in their communities, and this bag allows them to do just that, share their passion for cosmetics with their clients that ultimately supports our charitable partners across the country.”

The YOU + SEPHORA bag retails for $20 and will be available at SEPHORA Dayton, Ohio at The Greene starting June 1st, while supplies last.

Location:     Sephora – Dayton, Ohio
                     The Greene shopping center
                     4421 Glengarry Drive #126
                     Beavercreek, OH 45440

*For a full list of participating charities across the U.S., please visit www.sephora.com/values-inside-out
**Sephora will make this donation for each bag sold during the period 6/1/13-12/31/13, while supplies last

For more information contact:     

4 Paws For Ability – Whitney Hitt, Whitney@4PawsForAbility.org | 937.768.9096
SEPHORA – Blakeley Vaughn, blakeley.vaughn@sephora.com | 212.931.1309

Values Inside Out is a visionary partnership program matching Sephora stores across America with non-profit organizations in their own communities.  Under this program, each store’s team of cast members (Sephora’s term for sales associates) chose a local non-profit to help through raising awareness, providing funds and contributing their own “sweat equity” to aide that organization in fulfilling its mission over the course of 2013. To learn more about the program and for a list of charities and more information on their causes, please visit www.sephora.com/values-inside-out


Creative teen raises money with 4 Paws cards

By | Charity, Fundraising, Miscellaneous

Creativity meets generosity

MONTVILLE, N.J. – Her generosity all started with a text that Sophie Guss received at school one day from her mom who was watching The Today Show. She said that her mom knew it was something that would intrigue her.

The Today Show was featuring 4 Paws for Ability. And it was perfect timing for the artistic 16-year-old sophomore at Montville Township High School in Montville, NJ.

“I had been trying to find an organization to get involved in and as soon as I heard about 4 Paws, I knew I wanted to help,” said the creative, self-proclaimed animal lover, whose family has always had rescue dogs as pets. Kenzie, a hound mix, is the Guss family’s current and third rescue dog.

“I feel good about helping these dogs who might not otherwise have homes. They give people unconditional love. There’s nothing like walking in my house knowing my dog will be so excited to see me!”

Guss said that she also loves children—which goes hand-in-paw with the mission of 4 Paws for Ability. In fact, she volunteers in an afterschool program in a nearby town with young children.

Helping children and helping dogs is the two-fold combination that made this venture kismet, as Guss visited 4PawsForAbility.org. After a few quick clicks of her mouse, she knew that this was something worthy of her time and talent.

“When I read the children’s stories, it made me want to help out,” said Guss. “I decided to do this because I love children and animals and I was looking to help an organization that could combine these two interests. When I heard about 4 Paws, it was perfect.”

She designed and sold tribute cards for $5 each.

“I emailed friends and family and told them about 4 Paws for Ability. It was nice when several people forwarded my email to their friends because they wanted to support me and your organization.”

She sold packs of four cards at $20 and raised $400 for 4 Paws for Ability.

4 Paws for Ability isn’t the first organization that Guss has donated her time or efforts. She cut her hair for Locks of Love twice and when she was 13, she raised about $1,000 for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. 

Earlier this year, she participated in a walk-a-thon for the rescue organization that saved her dog Kenzie, and raised $375.

While the do-gooder teenager hasn’t yet visited Xenia to see the dogs and children whom she is helping with her efforts, she hopes to plan a trip to 4 Paws for Ability soon.

“Hopefully in the future, I can come.  I will be looking at colleges next year, so maybe if I am nearby, I can visit,” said Guss. 


Do you have a fundraising idea that you’d like to share with 4 Paws for Ability?

Tell us! Or DONATE NOW!


 -By Jessica Noll-Korczyk


Click on the images below to see the card’s interior/exterior designs.

Evan makes best friend for life

By | Charity, Fundraising, Misc, Miscellaneous, Multipurpose Assistance, Seizure Alert, Service Dog Stories

Boy-turned author gets long-awaited service dog

XENIA, Ohio – Evan Moss, a bubbly, very interactive 8-year-old plays with his electronic game. Legs stretched out behind him as he lay on his stomach, atop a quilted blanket. Next to him, legs stretched out, lying on her belly too is Mindy. Paws up, she is chewing on her large, clear, Nylabone. They won’t be sharing toys anytime soon, said Evan, but they are already sharing a bed.
“It’s cool to see them bonding,” said Lisa Moss, Evan’s mom, who said they spent each night cuddling in their hotel bed while training at 4 Paws. “He’s really taking to her and she’s really taking to him too.”
The two have become fast friends over the course of the past 11 days—in sync; in a way that is, well, magical. Evan has found in Mindy, a BFF, to share his love of life with. When asked what he’ll do with his newfound friend?
“Everything!” he said with a bashful smile engraved on his face. He said that he couldn’t wait to get home to their sprawling Alexandria, Va., back yard and race with her.
“She’ll play catch with me. She’ll race with me!”
It’s important that Evan has Mindy by his side—not just for companionship, but for life.
“Not much slows him down—except taking away his iPod,” Lisa joked. But one thing does slow him down. Epilepsy.
Evan was born with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), which causes tumors to grow within his vital organs; most prevalent in his brain, eyes, heart, skin, kidneys and lungs. The soon-to-be 3rd-grader, had his first seizure when he was just a few weeks old. Soon thereafter, doctors had to remove a tumor from his brain.
“He handles [seizures] surprisingly well,” said Lisa. “It’s part of who he is.”
Evan has nocturnal seizures just about every 10 days, said his parents, Rob and Lisa Moss. They occur mostly while he’s sleeping. He usually doesn’t recall them; however, the seizures often leave him unbalanced the next morning, making it difficult to walk. It’s a scary time every two weeks for the Mosses. Lisa said she fears that they’ll sleep through a nighttime seizure. It’s an unnerving feeling that creeps into the mother of two’s mind from time to time—especially since they never know the severity.
For most of his seizures, medical attention is necessary. And that’s where Mindy comes in. Evan knows exactly what his best friend is for.
“She’ll help me when I have seizures. She’ll help me when I get off balance,” he said.
Mindy will be a brand new part of the family, waiting in the wings, to help alert them to seizures and to play when he needs a friend.
“I think she’s going to help us in ways we don’t even know yet,” said Lisa, hopeful of what’s to come.
Service dogs need not apply—
Lisa wasn’t always so pro-service dog.
For a long time, Lisa and Rob, creators of SeizureTracker.com, a seizure diary system website, avoided the notion that their son neither needed a service dog, nor that he would benefit from having one.
“As helpful as they can be, they can complicate your life,” expressed Lisa with understandable concern.
It’s no longer just going into a mall with a child with special needs or disabilities; it’s going into a mall with a dog—and the attention and questions that follow from that.
As Rob and Lisa frequented epilepsy conferences for their website, year after year, they always came across one booth regularly. It was a table set up for service dogs, specifically for those with epilepsy.
And since they didn’t teach their son to be neither embarrassed nor ashamed of who he is, they started vigorously digging into and researching everything that they could about service dogs, hoping the assistance a dog could provide would outweigh their concerns.
They had a long list of demands. The service dog had to perform seizure-alert, be trained for a child and hypoallergenic, due to Lisa’s allergies. It was a tall order, but an order that 4 Paws could and would fill.
Enter through the doggie door: Mindy.
An author is born—
Evan was 7-years-old when they started the application process with 4 Paws. As one of the requirements, he would need to write or draw a photo to include with the application materials. The then-2nd-grader who’d written stacks of books in class, said, he didn’t think so. Rob and Lisa then explained to him that they needed it. What he meant was… ‘I don’t think one picture is enough.’ So he asked, “Can I write a book?” Lisa: “Of course!”
Once they self-published his book, “My Service Dog,” several media outlets featured the young author, bringing awareness to epilepsy and service dogs. As a result, they ended up using the money they made through book sales as the required $13,000 that they needed to raise to make “My Service Dog” a reality for Evan. Lisa chuckled, remembering that they had had all kinds of fundraisers planned and in the works, like a 5K run and a yard sale.
“It ended up all we needed to do was the book,” she said. They did, however, hold the yard sale since their home was exploding with the generosity of donations to sell.
They raised the funding for a service dog selling one book at a time, signing one copy at a time. Hundreds lined up, wrapping around their local coffee shop, during his book signing near Washington, D.C. Her son’s fans continued looping around the block. It was like nothing they had ever seen before.
There were so many people, nearly 600 that they sold out of books on-hand. They took orders for more books—many from people who drove in from out of state just to meet Evan. It was a community coming together to support one little boy, determined to achieve his dream of sharing his life with a service dog.
“So many groups of [our] friends—to look at into the crowd, it was like a history of our time, with all the people who had been supporting us,” said Rob. Those who came out in support at the event included nine service dogs, some from 4 Paws.
From that moment on, everything was a whirlwind for Evan and his family. His book, “My Service Dog” sold about 4,000 copies, was the No. 1 bestseller on Amazon.com’s ‘Kids Health’ section and was featured on Amazon’s homepage. Now, there’s even a Kindle version.
A few days after the book signing, Lisa said, the coffee shop, where it was held, called her. They said an unnamed woman came in, wanting to donate $13,000 to Evan for his dog. Since they had already raised what they needed, Lisa quickly suggested that they make that donation to 4 Paws, in turn helping more children with disabilities to reach their fundraising goals as well.
Boy meets dog—
The only pet Evan had ever had was a fish, until now.
It was only a matter of time before the determined, talented, little boy was introduced to his very own service dog.
Dressed modestly in a sweater, Mindy, a Goldendoodle, had been freshly groomed and trimmed for their initial meeting on Day 1 of class at 4 Paws. To avoid getting too cold, she was fashionable in her green and blue sweater, to say the least.
The curly-eared pup and the precocious young boy were soon two peas in a pod… it was the making of this boy’s best friend. For the next 11 days, they trained at the Xenia facility together, learning each other and what they had to do for each other in case of emergency and everything in between.
“She’s going to be his best friend,” said Lisa, beaming ear to ear on graduation day at 4 Paws. “She’s a great dog—such a sweet girl.”
Mindy will alert Lisa and Rob at night when Evan has a seizure. In addition, she will assist him with behavioral and socialization skills, balance after a seizure and will be tethered to Evan when they are out in public—since Evan has a tendency to get lost in the shuffle, disappearing into crowds. Mindy will give them piece of mind, and Evan, a companion in all aspects of life.
“It will give him the freedom of sleeping alone,” said Lisa of the relief having Mindy to watch over her son at night would be for him and the entire family. Relief, because Rob and Lisa would have to take turns sleeping with their son in case he had a seizure.
But aside from Mindy’s main duties, the best part for Evan? Mindy will accompany him to school this year—which to Evan is, “awesome!”
“She’s a part of the family—it’s like having another kid.”
The hand-drawn dog on his book, “My Seizure Dog” looks an awful lot like Mindy, but Evan said that was just sheer coincidence.
“I was just drawing an extraordinary dog,” he said. Extraordinary indeed.           
A sequel to “My Service Dog” may be in the works… but Evan said, not for a while.
-Jessica Noll
Check out “My Seizure Dog,” click here. Evan has been featured in the Washington Post, People magazine, Patch.com, CBS Early Show, Fox News and MSNBC.com.

4 Paws named Midwest CHARITY OF THE YEAR!

By | Charity, Miscellaneous
XENIA, Ohio — 4 Paws for Ability has been named the Midwest region’s Charity of the Year, by the 4th Annual Classy Awards, hosted by StayClassy.  
4 Paws Dog“It was awesome just to be nominated but to win the regionals, that is just amazing! As the founder of 4 Paws I am humbled,” said Karen Shirk, 4 Paws founder and executive director.
4 Paws for Ability will be honored for enriching 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.

The winners will be honored in San Diego on Sept 22.

StayClassy is a fast-growing San Diego-based start-up that develops an online fundraising product used by thousands of non-profit organizations around the world. (http://www.stayclassy.org/classy-awards/regional-winners?video=1)

For additional information or an interview, contact Jessica Noll at 937.768.9096 or email to Jessica4Paws@aol.com

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. 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. 

-Jessica Noll

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4 Paws for Ability | www.4PawsForAbility.org | Twitter@4PawsForAbility