Our university puppy raiser program has grown so much! We love hearing the stories of how each university chapter started! Puppy raiser Hayley Nagelberg shares her experience from the University of Illinois!
“As an animal sciences student at the University of Illinois, I received an email that a fellow student was hoping to start a chapter of 4 Paws for Ability on campus and was looking for students to help her start up the club with her. I instantly connected with the mission of 4 Paws and how much the organization aligned with my career goals. After a semester getting the club started, and another year on the executive board, I decided to apply to be a foster for my senior year. Puppy raising Santina (Cherry Pie Litter) was definitely one of the most rewarding experiences I had as a student. Santina not only became my constant companion through every class, meeting, meal and shift of work, but was the catalyst for so many more amazing moments. I got to educate so many students and faculty on what service animals are and how to interact around them, I became increasingly aware of accessibility matters everywhere I went, became more responsible with my time and energy, and was almost never found without a smile on my face. Seeing Santina learn a new command, succeed in an environment that once caused issues, have a full day of great behavior, or just cuddle up next to me at the end of a long day are memories I will always cherish. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to teach her as much as I could, and to have learned from her each and every day.”
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4 Paws For Ability: We love hearing why people puppy raise! Puppy raiser Brittany Talley shares her why!
“I became involved with 4 Paws when I was in college being a puppy sitter and now I am fostering my first dog, Zuky from the Comic Book Day Litter ! It is one of the most rewarding things I have been able to do. I love the fact that I get to educate the public and talk about what this amazing organization can do for those in need! I have met so many great people along the way and cannot wait to continue being a part of these dogs journeys!”
Become a puppy raiser now! 4pawsforability.org/puppy-raiser/
Not only does puppy raising come with the opportunity to work with some awesome pups, it also provides you with a community of people who share the same passion! Puppy raiser Colleen Burns shares her experience
"I started volunteering with 4 Paws when I first started college and now I can’t imagine a college experience without 4 Paws For Ability! You become a part of an amazing community that provides endless support and I have made some of my closest friends from this organization on my campus. It also has given me a whole new perspective and admiration to service dog teams everywhere and makes me feel so grateful that I can be a part of an amazing dog’s journey to change someone’s life one day."
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Puppy raising is quite the journey! Although it may be hard to say goodbye, all of these pups have such a higher purpose in life! Lauren Lienhart shares her story!
"I first got into the program as a puppy sitter at Miami University. I have a family member that could benefit from a service dog and after learning more about 4 Paws for Ability, I immediately applied on their website. Because I had such an amazing experience as a sitter, seeing the different dogs grow and learn, I wanted to take on a bigger role as a foster.
In August 2018, my cofoster and I picked up Bambi from the Cartoon Litter. Ever since then, she has been a light in my life. Teaching her new commands and socializing her to new experiences wasn’t always easy but through 4 Paws, I have a community of people who have the same goal in mind- help these amazing dogs on their journey.
Pretty soon I know I’ll be saying goodbye to my goofy girl, but it has been so worth it, knowing the impact she will have on someone’s life. Being a part of her journey is something I will always cherish and I can’t wait to see what awaits her in the future!"
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Puppy raising is rewarding. There's no question about it. Lauryn Powers shares why she loves raising!
"I love puppy raising! It's such a rewarding experience that has changed my college life completely. It's amazing to get to be apart of these dog's lives and getting to train them to become the best versions of themselves to help out people in need! I get free cuddles and puppy kisses anytime I want them too!
I couldn't see my life without being a 4paws puppy raiser. It's like having multiple best friends at all times ❤️"
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What does being a puppy raiser mean to you? Carah Porter shares why she loves being a puppy raiser!
"I became a puppy raiser my first year of college and it was the best decision I made for myself. Through 4 paws I’ve gotten many opportunities to speak to the community about service dogs and it has really helped me grow as a person. Fostering these pups is more than just always having a cute dog with you. It’s about growing and learning along with them. It’s about the crazy dog loving friends you will make. Lastly, it’s about being able to be a small part of the team that can change a family’s life forever."
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We love hearing how our puppy raisers get involved and make friends along the way! Here's an awesome story from Dalena!
"Hi my name is Dalena Wesley! We are a guardian home for Aliss our breeder pup through 4Paws for Ability. How we got into puppy raising was really random. I was walking around an outdoor mall in the Dayton area one night and struck up a conversation with a couple (Anthony and Ashley Waulk) who are some of our best friends today. They had a dog with a vest on, after talking to them for 20 mins I finally acknowledged the dog they had with them (Horizon, FF living her best life with the Waulk's) They told me all about the program! We got our breeder pup in 2017. Since then we've puppy sat so many dogs I've lost count. We've been weekend fosters to Prancer, Rowdy, and Queso. All placed SD! Changing their kids life every single day. Why I love 4 Paws aside from all the dogs I've gotten to snuggle, they've brought some really cool people into my life and my Furever BFF aliss!"
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Being a puppy raiser can be impactful in so many different ways! Puppy raiser Sarah Haines shares!
"I became a 4 Paws sitter during my freshman year of college and am now puppy raising my first dog, King! 4 Paws has helped shape my college experience! Being a puppy raiser is an amazing experience, and 4 Paws is a community that I’m proud to be a part of!"
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We love hearing stories of how our volunteers started puppy raising! Peyton Schroeder shares her story!
"When I toured the University of Kentucky campus back in high school, I vividly remember seeing the 4 Paws dogs all over the place. I thought to myself, “I’m going to be a part of that someday.” (I’d be lying if I said that the huge 4 Paws presence wasn’t *at least* a tiny part of the reason I chose UK!) When I started fostering in January 2018, I quickly realized that 4 Paws is SO MUCH MORE than just a “dog-lovers club.” 4 Paws for Ability is life-changing for both the individuals that the service dogs are placed with as well as for the people who give their love, time, and effort to raise them. I can confidently say that no other organization has shaped my college experience the way that 4 Paws has.
If you live within 3 hours of Xenia, OH, I highly encourage you to consider becoming a volunteer puppy raiser for a service dog in training. Summer fosters are still needed, and this is the perfect time to get involved! You can learn more and apply at https://4pawsforability.org/puppy-raiser/.