Puppy Raiser – Nicole Walsh

By | 4 Paws University, Volunteer, Wright State

Nicole WalshMeet a Puppy Raiser

Name: Nicole Walsh
School: Wright State University
Major: Social Work
Dogs: I’ve Co-Handled 5 dogs through 4 Paws for Ability

Being a Co-Handler at Wright State has made my college experience so much better! Not only do I get to make memories and life long friendships, but I also get to participate in an amazing experience that no one can explain. Seeing the families get the dogs that we have socialized from little 4 month old puppies literally melts your heart. The college program really is like one whole family, we always post and share our dogs, and give updates on our puppies while also helping other people who may have some questions. This program is one of the best ones out there, and I am so happy to be apart of it! 

Puppy Raiser – Kacie Lang and Sarah Wikum

By | 4 Paws University, Miami University, Volunteer

Kacie Lang Sarah WikumMeet a Puppy Raiser

Names: Kacie Lang and Sarah Wikum
School:  Miami University 
Major: Public Health and Speech Pathology
Dogs fostered: 2

4 Paws for Ability University Program allowed me to work with an amazing organization and meet my best friend! My co-foster and I bonded over our love for dogs and helping kids and people with disabilities, as we both hope to be therapists! This program has been one of the most influential parts of college for both of us and we both plan to be involved long after graduation. It truly has our hearts.

Puppy Raiser – Desirae Vance

By | 4 Paws University, Volunteer, Wright State

Desirae VanceMeet a Puppy Raiser

Name: Desirae Vance
School:Wright State University 
Major: Criminal Justice and Sociology
Dogs fostered: 9 through 4 Paws for Ability

The 4 Paws University Program has been a huge part of my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Through this program, I have met some wonderful people and made lifelong friends. Fostering has allowed me to assist in the training and socialization of pups that have gone on to become service dogs! Knowing that I have helped make someone’s life easier is a huge reason as to why I continue to foster with 4 Paws for Ability!

Puppy Raiser – Jenna Falldorf

By | 4 Paws University, Volunteer, Wright State

Jenna FalldorfMeet a Puppy Raiser

Name: Jenna Falldorf
School: Wright State University 
Major: Early Childhood Education
Dogs: I’ve fostered 9 dogs through 4 Paws for Ability.

Fostering through 4 Paws has truly changed my life. Before 4 Paws I didn’t realize how much of an impact I could have on someone else’s life. Being a foster is more than just volunteer work, it really is a life-changing experience. Each dog comes with their own strengths and weaknesses and it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to find the best ways to help them succeed. My favorite piece of the 4 Paws puzzle is graduation day. Getting to meet the new family of my precious foster puppy and seeing how much they needed a dog in their life is humbling. Each of my fosters will always have a special place in my heart, but I think more than anything the relationships I’ve built through handling on a team, working with the 4 Paws employees, and meeting the 4 Paws families is what will really stick with me for the rest of my life.

4 Paws college grads walk with 4-legged co-eds

By | 4 Paws University, University of Kentucky, Wittenberg

4 Paws for Ability is proud to announce several college graduations, which includes some of our Campus Program participants and their service dogs in-training.

Many of our students will be walking during commencement with their 4 Paws foster dogs, who are service dogs in-training, who will eventually be placed with children with disabilities.

The University Program is a win-win for the students and the dogs.

Chelsea with Skylark“It’s great for the students because it really boosts their confidence, as they must take their dogs into public and answer questions as they are posed by onlookers. It also teaches them how to care for another individual. They have to be very responsible around the clock,” says Jessa Brown, University Program Coordinator and Trainer at 4 Paws for Ability.

“It’s good for the dogs because it gives them a lot of socialization, which makes them confident in public. This is vital for a 4 Paws for Ability service dog.”

“I cannot wait to meet her future family and see the smiles Mitzi brings to their faces,” says Moira Beebe, a graduating biology major at Wittenberg University. “She is such an amazing dog and I was a small part of that.  Mitzi is one of my favorite college memories and now she is going to a family where she will be valued, loved and cherished.” 

“I did some research on 4 Paws for Ability and discovered what a fantastic organization it is. I wanted to get to know families with these dogs, as well as the dogs themselves!” says Beth Kupferie, a special education graduate from Miami University.

“I will be graduating, but I would love to continue fostering and working with 4 Paws if I stay in the area.”

Graduates include:

Wright State University-

  • Shannon Schraeder with Fievel
  • Chelsea Crager with Skylark
  • Victor Colon with Mister
  • Erin Bittner with Kailani

Wittenberg University-

  • Claire Shannon with Bippa
  • Meredith Troy and Abby Debner with Mango
  • Eric Werner and Rory Eustace with Aisling
  • Kelly Brothers and Sean Williams with Beezus
  • Moira Beebe and Jonna Sakowski with Mitzi

Cedarville University-

  • Sandi Patton with Ramona

Miami University-

  • Sarah Cesler and Kelsey Myrhofer with Boeing
  • Olivia Kerrigan and Beth Kupferie with Banshee


-By Jessica Noll-Korczyk


*To donate, helping us fund more campus training, click here.

Man’s Best Friend Graduates From UK

By | 4 Paws University, University of Kentucky

“More than four thousand students graduated from University of Kentucky on Sunday….they were also joined by one dog,” says Ian Preston of ABC 36. “Elementary Education Graduate Logan Bright brought up a one-year-old black lab named ‘Deja-Vu’ to the stage to receive her diploma. ‘Deja-Vu’ is part of UK’s ‘4 Paws For Ability’ program which was founded by Bright when she first arrived on campus three years ago.”

“Bright not only has a passion for helping children through community service, but for helping children learn as well,” says UKNOW. She loves children’s books and had a dream of writing a book that she could one day read to her own class. One night while babysitting, Bright decided to jot down story ideas and within an hour and a half she had written her first book, ‘Ruby the Rabbit Goes Exploring,’ which was published and is currently available in major book retail stores. She has written five other “Ruby the Rabbit” books in addition to her first one, but wants to see how well the first book does before getting the others published.”


Students Team With 4 Paws for Ability To Train Service Dog

By | 4 Paws University, Wittenberg

Since 2009, Wittenberg students have being playing a critical role in preparing dogs for service to others, thanks to Sarah Kelly, vice president for enrollment management and dean of students.

“I read an article about the 4Paws program on CNN.com and when I learned that the program is based in Xenia, I arranged a meeting with Karen, the executive director, to discuss the possibility of starting a student handler-trainer program here,” Kelly said. “Wittenberg’s program started with four dogs in the spring of 2009.

“Since then, we’ve trained close to 40 dogs,” Kelly added. “It has become a student-led initiative, and I serve solely as an advisor—the students do it all, and I’m really proud of the job they do.”

Read the story on Wittenberg’s website.