4 PAWS FOR ABILITY INC

Taking the "dis" out of disability

Xenia, OH   |  www.4pawsforability.org

Mission

4 Paws for Ability, Inc. mission is to: enrich the lives of children with disabilities by the training and placement of quality, task trained service  dogs to provide increased independence for the children and assistance to their families; enrich the lives of veterans from recent conflicts whom have lost the use of their limbs or their hearing while in active combat; educate the public to accept the use of service dogs in public places.

Ruling year info

2000

Principal Officer

Karen Shirk

Main address

253 Dayton Ave.

Xenia, OH 45385 USA

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EIN

31-1625484

NTEE code info

Autism (G84)

Animal Training, Behavior (D61)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Service Dogs

Autism Assistance Dogs

Most requested and most often placed, Autism Assistance Dogs have the ability to track a child that has wandered off, keep the child with the caregiver in public, and are trained to respond to a child’s repetitive behaviors to stop the behavior(s).

 

Hearing Ear Dog

Assist the hearing impaired by alerting them to the presence of a sound in the environment. The dog learns to respond to verbal and hand signals and work for toys or affection. It is trained to make physical contact and lead someone to the source of a sound.

 

Mobility Assistance Dog

Increase the independence of someone who uses a wheelchair, has trouble standing, and/or with ambulating such as people with spinal cord or brain injuries, Multiple Sclerosis, Spina Bifida, and Cerebral Palsy. These dogs can be taught to help pull a manual chair up a hill and retrieve dropped items among many other tasks.

 

Multipurpose Assistance Dog

A creative solution for someone who does not fit into one category, which includes people with multiple issues or diagnoses such as Down Syndrome, Fragile X, ADHD, or mental health issues.

 

Seizure Assistance Dog

Trained to complete a variety of tasks from alerting to behavior disruption. Seizure medications often cause behavioral or balance issues and the dogs can help to stabilize the child by wearing a harness that the child can hold. The dogs are trained to remain calm in a chaotic environment and can recognize an impending seizure and signal the child's caregivers before it happens. Diabetic Alert Dog can be trained to alert to high or low blood sugar for a child with Type 1 Diabetes and a veteran with Type 1 or 2 Diabetes

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Veterans

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

4 Paws for Ability is seeking to provide as many children as possible around the world, within the scope of our ability, with access to qualified service dogs trained specifically for their needs, with no minimum age, and regardless of the severity of the disability. It seeks to fill a gap that exists in providing children with life-threatening and other disabilities with service dogs to help them manage their disabilities and lead more independent lives. 4 Paws also honors veterans from recent combat with service dogs to assist with hearing, mobility, seizures, PTSD, TBI, and diabetes.

4 Paws for Ability utilizes hundreds of volunteers to help keep our costs down. From our foster parents who help raise our puppies, to our inmates from five Ohio correctional facilities who help train our dogs in basic obedience, to our college campus programs where students socialize the dogs—our service dogs in training are getting exposed to as many people and settings as possible. By utilizing this strategy, when the dogs are ready for their advanced training, our staff of trainers can get right to work on task-training them to the specific needs of the child or veteran.

4 Paws for Ability is a comprehensive service dog organization that strives to take the “dis" out of disability by providing Autism Assistance Dogs (with or without Search and Rescue/Tracking ability), Seizure Alert and Response Dogs, Mobility Assistance Dogs, Hearing Ear/Signal Dogs, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder/Drug Exposed Dogs, Diabetic Alert and Response Dogs, Facilitated Guide Dogs, and Multipurpose Assistance Dogs (covers multiple disabilities that can include Down Syndrome, Fragile X, Apraxia, ADHD, a variety of mental health diagnoses, medically frail children, and life-threatening medical illnesses such as cancer). The most common requested service dog is an Autism Assistance Dog with Search and Rescue/Tracking ability followed by Seizure Alert and Response Dogs. 4 Paws for Ability was the first and is the largest organization in the U.S. to place Autism Assistance Dogs with Search and Rescue/Tracking ability. 4 Paws for Ability is recognized and recommended by several national Autism organizations. Most have been referred by physicians or therapists.

Hundreds of families have realized hope for their children by getting a service dog through 4 Paws for Ability. Success measurements at 4 Paws are based on whether having a service dog has improved the lives of the child and the family. Once the family has completed their 12-day training and passed a public access test, we follow up with each family on a regular basis. In addition, the families have access to the trainers at any time through e-mail, phone, or text messaging. Another indication of success is through two closed, online groups that families can join to share their success stories. These groups allow families to remain in contact with each other, and it allows 4 Paws to continue measuring the success of our program.

Financials

4 PAWS FOR ABILITY INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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4 PAWS FOR ABILITY INC

Board of directors
as of 3/18/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Helena Brooks

TTEC

Term: 2018 -

Eddie Young

Freshpet

Karen Shirk

4 Paws for Ability, Inc.

Wally Gerbus

Ernst & Young

Ralph Brueggemann

University of Cincinnati

John Jolley

Organizational Change Consultant

Jake Persky

Danaher Corporation

Amy Wilcox

Crimson Design

Beth Cesta

Retired, TeamHealth

Mark Thomas

Retired, Fire Chief

David James

James Investment

Randy Lytes

University of Cincinnati

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/11/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability