All service dogs are covered – not just guide dogs!

By | ADA 25 Celebration, Autism Assistance, Fundraising, Service Dog Education, Service Dog Stories

25 Ways the Americans with Disabilities Act has Changed Lives

1. All service dogs are covered – not just guide dogs!

Caden & ElfThis is Caden and his service dog Elf. Elf is an autism assistance service dog. The ADA provides public access rights for all types of task trained service dogs. While guide dogs, sometimes called seeing-eye dogs, have the most public exposure, service dogs serve a wide breadth of accessibility needs. All of 4 Paws for Ability’s service dogs have public access rights: these include seizure assistance, hearing assistance, autism assistance, FASD assistance, mobility assistance, facilitated guide, diabetic alert, and PTSD alert dogs.

“Without the law, Caden would have to endure a lot of fear and anxiety without his best friend by his side. The ADA allows Caden the opportunity to just be a kid and enjoy the world around him”.

Celebrate ADA! Donate today, #ADA25 #4PawsForADA

The Americans With Disabilities Act Turns 25!

By | ADA 25 Celebration, Fundraising

Did you know that the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) turns 25 on July 26, 2015? It’s been 25 years of progress, improvement, and increased acceptance for people. For all the things that have changed, there is still work to be done, access to increase, and love to be shared. In honor of #ADA25 we are going to be sharing with you 25 ways #4PawsForADA has changed the lives of others. We’d also like to hit a BIG goal of 4 $25 donations per day this month; with each $25 donation we are a step closer to increasing access for the kiddos and veterans who look to us for a helping hand (or really, helping paws). This is a big stretch goal. We need your help sharing, tagging friends, and if you’re able, making a $25 donation! Celebrate access for all with us!

Class Shirt Ideas

By | Fundraising

Each 4 Paws for Ability Class provides their own shirt design, and volunteer shirt organizers can help take care of having them printed and getting them to each class (no small feat!).  Below are some shirt samples! These are just ideas to get you thinking and your class is responsible for making your own design.

Bow winner announced in first raffle!

By | Charity, Fundraising, Service Dog Stories

e212e281-a951-48e5-8479-ee9cdada452fThe Hudkins family, owners of Athens Archery and 4 Paws For Ability alums, contacted us at the beginning of the year with an idea to raise money for our cause! Their selfless act of generosity led to a monthly bow raffle, with proceeds benefiting the 4 Paws building fund. The first month was a great success, and they are now gearing up for the second raffle!

Each month, a bow will be made courtesy of Athens Archery and Jason and Amanda Hudkins (Ashlynn & Alvy Service Dog team December 2013). Winners will be able to choose between the 4 Paws edition or the New Fall Leaves Camo. 

Each bow is worth $800 (retail). Each raffle ticket (it will be a virtual ticket) is $15, which can be purchased here. Buying your raffle ticket on this website is simple, fast, and secure.

The first winner is: Brian Dillow! 

The next monthly contest has begun already, and the next winner will be announced on March 31. 

4 Paws would like to congratulate Brian on his win, and thank the Hudkins for their kindness and support!

Ashlynn and Alvy

Ashlynn and Alvy

Thanksgiving comes early at 4 Paws

By | Charity, Fundraising, Honors/Awards, Miscellaneous

DSC_0010If you work at 4 Paws For Ability, it’s a definite possibility you feel as though Thanksgiving has come early this year.

Why, you might ask? The answer is simple.

We have a support network, or more like an extended 4 Paws family, that is generous beyond compare.

As most of you know, we hosted a gala on October 19th to celebrate our 15th year of service. Our goal was to spend an evening enjoying the company of as many 4 Paws friends as possible, and to raise money towards our building fund. In addition to the food and festivities, the gala also featured a raffle, silent auctions and the unveiling of our revised building plans by HiFive Development. The evening was also paired with a “One Day of Giving” Campaign, where contributions were matched by one of our donors.

The day ended with over $24,000 being collected, and with all of us at 4 Paws giving thanks for our many blessings. Every penny of that generosity gets us closer to our goal of upgrading and expanding our current facility; a necessary goal when attempting to keep pace with demand.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, we have the best fans and friends in the world. Thanks to everyone who donated time and money to make our 15th Anniversary celebration a success, and for helping get us closer to yet another dream coming true.



Below are some pictures of the evening. 


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4 Paws for Ability is once again participating as a CFC (Combined Federal Campaign) charity!

By | Charity, Fundraising, Honors/Awards, Miscellaneous

cfcDear 4 Paws families:

4 Paws for Ability is once again participating as a CFC (Combined Federal Campaign) charity!

For those of you unfamiliar with this program, it was enacted into law by John F. Kennedy as the method of soliciting federal and military employees to allocate a certain dollar amount from their paychecks to give to charities that are thoroughly reviewed and approved by the government. The campaign officially kicks off in September and runs through December 15th.

If you are a federal employee or in the military, please designate 4 Paws. Also, please forward this information to your friends and family who work for the federal government or are in the military to please designate 4 Paws in the CFC campaign this year. Our CFC # is 59894.

This is a nice funding source for us…this year we will be receiving payments totaling $65,000.

Let’s see if we can increase it next year!

Again, our CFC # is 59894, and we are listed under “Animal Charities of America.”

Please spread the word! Thank you for your support.



P.S. 4 Paws is not a United Way affiliated agency; however, we receive donations if people write us in so if your employer participates in United Way, please write us in on your pledge card form and encourage others to do the same. Thank you!

4 Paws For Ability is one of 250 Finalists for Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good Program!

By | Charity, Fundraising, Honors/Awards, Miscellaneous

7_100 Cars For Good Logo4 Paws For Ability is one of 250 Finalists for Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good Program!

4 Paws For Ability is proud to announce we’ve been selected as a finalist in Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good Program. Now we need your support! Mark your calendars and vote for 4 Paws For Ability at on October 28th.

From birth to placement and beyond, our service dogs travel a ton of miles. Whether running out to the field to practice life-saving tracking skills or to venture out as an ambassador for educational forums, our dogs are constantly on the go. If fortunate enough to win, the new Toyota vehicle would be a valuable asset for ensuring safe and reliable transportation!

Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good program will award 100 vehicles over the course of 50 days to 100 deserving nonprofit organizations based on votes from the public. Winning organizations will use the Toyota vehicles to help expand their reach and missions within their communities.

Please support 4 Paws For Ability on October 28th with your vote!

Voting will take place at 



Come meet Little Miss Ohio, Emma Moore, as she fundraises for 4 Paws!

By | Charity, Fundraising, Miscellaneous

IMG_2683Local girl Emma Moore, 9, is a beautiful young lady inside and out, which we’re sure is a big reason why she was named Little Miss Ohio this year!

Emma is a charity-minded girl and spends a lot of her time giving back to the community, including being a volunteer for 4 Paws. Recently Emma expressed an interest in holding a fundraiser for our organization, and the brainstorming began. As most of you know, The Sephora Store at The Greene in Dayton chose us as their charity partner this year and has been selling a cosmetic colletion during the last few months to support 4 Paws. It was quickly decided that the store would be a perfect backdrop for Emma’s generosity, as we celebrate “the beauty of giving”.

Emma is asking people to bring a bag of Pup-Peroni or Beggin’ Strips to the Sephora store on Saturday, September 7 from 1 – 3 PM for 4 Paws to use in training our service dogs. Emma will be available to sign autographs or have pictures taken with those who bring these dog treats that day. We’re told there may also be a guest appearance or two that day by one of our very own service dogs in training, so be sure to stop by!

If you’re in the Dayton area that Saturday, we encourage you to bring a bag of treats and show your support for not only 4 Paws, but also for a young lady who is dedicated to the service of others. 

Thanks again Emma, for your generosity!

Event address:

Sephora on The Greene

4421 Glengarry Dr #126  

Beavercreek, OH 45440

(937) 431-9300

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4 Paws celebrating 15th year and dreaming of even bigger, brighter future

By | Fundraising, Honors/Awards, Miscellaneous

karen-piper2Karen Shirk’s dream from the beginning was to create an opportunity for a large segment of people who were often overlooked or under-served in the service dog industry. Her dream was a big one, but one step at a time she pushed forward and was able to create the organization we know today as 4 Paws For Ability. There were plenty of challenges and endless amounts of hard work, but Karen has always been fueled by a higher purpose.


Her unshakeable commitment is why we are now able to say, “Happy 15th Anniversary 4 Paws!”

And more importantly, her efforts are why we are also able to say, “Congratulations on reaching over 700 service dog placements.” For a non-profit with such a small and humble beginning, that’s a huge achievement – multiplied by the understanding that each individual dog impacts the lives of many from the moment its career begins. It’s a testimony reminding us that just one person can make a huge difference.

To commemorate this joyous milestone will be a gala, held at the lovely Roberts Centre in Wilmington, Ohio on Saturday, October 19th from 6:30-9:30pm. The event will be a chance to bring together the friends, families, staff, supporters and affiliates of 4 Paws in celebration. But like most things done by the organization, the gala will also have a very special purpose – to raise money for its building fund.

Generating the funds for such a large construction project may seem like a daunting goal, but it’s most certainly no match for Karen’s passion. She’s passionate about the renovations because they mean much more than a facelift. The expanded building and upgraded facilities mean the capacity to assist even more people. It’s a level of growth that is much more than a want – it’s a necessity.

The demand for an agency like 4 Paws has always been huge. For years there was an entire community of people denied service dogs or unable to find one with the skills they specifically needed. Over the course of 15 years, 4 Paws has served this community, and in doing so has grown rapidly and garnered an abundance of media attention. Newspapers around the world have spread the word, including large media outlets like The New York Times and CNN. The ever-increasing awareness of 4 Paws For Ability has made it possible for more and more families to find the help they need, but it also means the organization has to work hard to keep up with the increasing demand. It’s a challenge Karen welcomes, but is also the reason a new building is high on the priority list.

Below is a copy of the official gala invitation, which includes details on the event and how to register. If you have any additional questions or would like to know about other ways you can help, please email Updates regarding the evening will be added in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

We hope you can join us for this special occasion as we celebrate 15 years and work towards an even bigger and brighter future!

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CCN – driving to make a difference with ‘Doggie Days of Summer’

By | Charity, Fundraising, Miscellaneous

Suzee Louis and SDIT, Keebler

When Suzee Louis of Xenia, Ohio first learned of 4 Paws for Ability, she became an instant advocate for our mission and set forth to find a way to lend a helping hand. Her efforts led to a joyful morning of golf and giving, as the ladies of The Country Club of the North (CCN) came together in an event that raised not just money, but awareness of our work.

On Thursday, August 8th, members and their guests teed off at the stunning CCN course for some fun and friendly competition, in an event titled ‘The Doggie Days of Summer – CCN Guest Day’. The ladies played for prizes and all-important bragging rights, but they also played with a purpose that morning – to support our families and service dogs. The day ended with lunch at the club house, where participants not only enjoyed good food and refreshments, but also had the opportunity to meet service-dog-in-training, Keebler!


Keebler shaking paws.

And as many of you can imagine, Keebler was more than happy to play ambassador and shake paws with the ladies. We’re pretty sure he was on cloud nine as he strutted his stuff and was showered with attention!

4 Paws Development Director, Kelly Camm, was on hand that day to educate the golfers on our history, processes and overall mission and helped in answering some great questions. The ladies off CCN were so welcoming, curious and supportive!

At the end of the day, the participants donated a large dog crate, several dog toys and treats, and $485! We at 4 Paws consider that better than a hole in one any day!

Thanks again to Suzee, all the ladies who participated and to The Country Club of the North for your generosity and support! It was a beautiful day and you really did make a difference!

Left to right - Timi Gump, Centerville; Kim Ceccarelli, Beavercreek;  Donna Stafford, Beavercreek; Nancy King, Beavercreek Country Club of the North Beavercreek Kelly Camm & Keebler answering questions Keebler enjoying the ambassador role! He is loving this! Keebler, meeting and greeting Our dogs will LOVE these donations! What a huge crowd! Keebler wanted to meet EVERYONE Keebler made a special friend! Adorable cupcakes! (or shall we say, 'pup'cakes?) Keebler saying hello