Pirate, the one-eyed puppy, to help others… But first, he needs your help

By | Fundraising, Miscellaneous, Service Dog Stories

Pirate will be having surgery, but after that he’ll be ready for training as a service dog. We’re reaching out to the public for help with the cost of his surgery.

XENIA, Ohio — Pirate is unique to the typical impression associated with the words: ‘service dog.’ Like several hundred 4 Paws clients, he too is disabled, but that isn’t going to stop him from lending a paw to help others.

Pirate, a Papillon puppy, was born April 16 to a single-puppy litter.

A lone puppy, he is perfectly marked with brown and black on his head, amidst the pure, fluffy, white fur covering the rest of his tiny body. As like all puppies, Pirate was born with his eyes closed. Over the next seven days, one small, brown eye opened a little at a time, until finally, it slowly peeled open. He eagerly began looking, bright-eyed at his new world surrounding him. But he did so with one eye.

His left eye stayed closed—never opening.

“When a Facebook friend told me about a little Papillon born with only one eye, I immediately knew he belonged at 4 Paws,” said Karen Shirk, 4 Paws for Ability executive director.

“Pirate is a delightful, young Papillon, full of curiosity and quite confident in his approach to the world around him.”

Watching the petite pup frolic and jump with his foster sisters, Glimmer and Flame, you’d never know anything was missing and he doesn’t seem to realize that he is suppose to have two eyes.

After contemplating how to best utilize this amazing little canine, Pirate’s owner, Bonnie Kost, decided on reaching out to 4 Paws for Ability in hopes her imperfect puppy could help someone else. So that’s how Pirate, came to be part of the 196 service dogs currently in-training at 4 Paws—and eventually part of the more than 650 placed service dogs.

“Papillons are brilliant, so I expect him to excel in his training and they will evaluate him to find the best fit for him in his life of service,” said Kost. “He will have a job, a very important job.  And most important, he is going to be very valuable to his person—not in terms of dollars, but in terms of making his person’s life easier and safer.”

Before he can begin saving lives, he will be undergoing surgery next week. He will have his congenital ophthalmic defect repaired—the vet will remove his tiny, blind eye and the tissue surrounding it; then sew it closed, preventing infection.

Pirate doesn’t let one eye slow him down.

The cost is approximately $2,500. And that’s where dog lovers from all over come into play! 4 Paws needs to raise the money for his surgery—a surgery to help him become someone’s furry hero. (Click here to donate.)

While he may have only one eye, Pirate is going to use his other senses to assist someone else with a disability. Once healed, the Papillon will be trained as a diabetic alert dog, a seizure dog or a hearing ear dog.

“I thought, a service dog doing alert work does not need two eyes and it is possible that having only one eye could mean his other senses could be even more heightened. It was, in my opinion, meant to be,” said Shirk.


-Jessica Noll

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

NH students walk the coast to raise funds for 4 Paws!

By | Fundraising

My name is Don Barber and I am a teacher of a 4th-6th grade class at the Cornerstone School in Stratham, NH.

Hello Karen, 

This past Friday, 19 students from my classroom and another 19 students from a second 4th-6th grade class at our school walked 4 miles of the New Hampshire coast in order to raise money for “4 Paws.”

I initially became aware of the organization when a friend mentioned to me that she had a cousin whose family was trying to raise money so he could get a dog through your group.  Her cousin is Gabe Kakitis.

I still do not know how much money we raised, as money will be coming in during the week, but I was in contact with Gabe’s mom over the weekend, and she let me know that they have been able to raise everything that they needed for him.

That means we will be looking to make a different donation of some kind to your organization. Gabe’s mom and I are thinking of it as a superabundance on behalf of Gabe.  

Having just heard from a couple of the walkers, there are some who raised several hundred dollars each! Can you give me some guidance on how an over one thousand dollar donation from an enthusiastic group of 9-12 year olds might best be directed?

I see on your web site that it is possible to give to specific children, but any advice from your perspective on things would be helpful. 

Attached, please find some pictures from our walk. Note especially the T-shirts students made for their walk.  Also, because we were walking at low tide, there were many students who were writing “4Pawsforability.com“ in the wet sand along the way.

You had 6 hours of free beach front advertising! Some of the students were telling other walkers along the beach about the cause. It was especially neat to see people who were walking dogs take an interest. 

I look forward to hearing from you, Don Barber


Baum Chevrolet Buick donates Buick to help in Tyler Auten’s fundraising

By | Autism Assistance, Fundraising, Service Dog Stories
Baum Chevrolet Buick, Clinton IL donates Buick to fundraising for Tyler Auten, who needs an autism service dog from 4 Paws for Ability

Baum Chevrolet Buick, Clinton IL donates Buick to fundraising for Tyler Auten, who needs an autism service dog from 4 Paws for Ability

Baum Chevrolet Buick has found a unique purpose for one of its pre-owned vehicles: Autism awareness. The dealership recently donated a 2000 Buick Regal to the family of Tyler Auten, a five-year-old Autistic boy from Bloomington, who is trying to raise $13,000 to purchase a special service dog. 

The Regal will be turned into a giant chalkboard for kids and adults to draw or write inspirational messages in support of Tyler. Family friend and parent of an Autistic child, Ryan Abbott, plans to feature the Buick at several car shows in Bloomington throughout the summer in hopes of generating additional donations.

For more information about Tyler, check out his Facebook page @ www.facebook.com/4PawsForTyler