PLATINUM2024

Pawsitive Teams Inc

Together We're Better

San Diego, CA   |  www.pawsteams.org

Mission

The Mission of Pawsitive Teams is to enhance the lives of individuals with special needs who live in San Diego County by using the skills of highly-trained service and therapy dogs.

Notes from the nonprofit

As you can imagine, it is very important for us to keep our Assistance Dogs International (ADI) accreditation and we spent much time in 2020 supporting our re-accreditation project despite the COVID pandemic. We were allowed to conduct our ADI visit virtually using our extensive technology resources, were re-accredited, and even received accolades for some of our practices. We continue to work to grow so that we can serve more members of our community. In 2023, our new projects include expanding our Facility Dog program across San Diego County and providing Veterans with helpful information on how to obtain a service dog, regardless of where they might apply. Onward!

Ruling year info

1999

Executive Director

Eileen Dolores Heveron Ph.D.

Main address

7031 Carroll Rd

San Diego, CA 92121 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

33-0851474

NTEE code info

Animal Training, Behavior (D61)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Pawsitive Teams, a small nonprofit, has identified the need to grow so we can vigorously continue our mission by serving more individuals with special needs in San Diego, CA. We are addressing a number of issues around the topic of improving awareness of Pawsitive Teams in our community. We compete with over 120 other "animal related" nonprofits and do not yet have the traction needed to attract the increased number of donors required for us to succeed in growing our organization to better serve San Diego.

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 Dog Training

Pawsitive Teams trains and places Service Dogs as partners for persons with mobility-limiting disabilities and/or with military related PTSD, with the ultimate goal of giving these individuals greater independence. Our pups are raised and trained in the homes of volunteer trainers and receive training in real-life settings on a daily basis. Our dogs are never kenneled. Identifying the right dog with the right partner involves matching the skills and personality of the dog with the needs and lifestyle of the individual. Transitioning the dog to the disabled handler is a 2- to 3-month process involving customized one-on-one instruction led by the trainer of the individual Service Dog. Since its inception our successful placement rate is 70%, surpassing the reported national average of 45-55%.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Pawsitive Teams currently has 2 certified Facility Dog Teams. Facility Dogs receive basic training similar to Service Dogs but are better suited to placement with able-bodied professionals to accomplish specific therapeutic goals. Our current teams are working at the Naval Hospital San Diego where they assist those who are recovering from severe trauma and at the San Diego County Court System where they assist those children who must testify in court cases. Pawsitive Teams is looking to expand its Facility Dog Program and is currently designing program curriculum in hopes of certifying additional Facility Dogs to work in San Diego organizations.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth
People with disabilities

Our Goal-Directed Therapy Dog Program has certified teams working with professionals at partner institutions across San Diego County. Different than traditional therapy dog work, our dogs are used as a tool and a motivator to help clients of all ages achieve clearly defined goals set by their therapist or teacher. As an example, within the San Diego Court system, our teams meet with children and elderly witnesses who testify in court. The dogs relieve tension prior to and during testimony, often enabling these victims to give more effective testimonies, thus resulting in more convictions. With the military, our teams help injured inpatient or outpatient active-duty military and veterans. Many clients are recovering from PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury, so our primary goal is to help them re-enter the community by establishing a greater sense of trust and less hyper-vigilance in public settings. Examples including our work in schools are provided on our website, www.pawsteams.org

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth
Students
Teachers

Pawsitive Teams' Therapy Dog Prep School consists of an active 6-week curriculum that helps pet dog owners explore what it takes to be involved with any animal-assisted therapy programs. Instructors have decades of experience as therapy dog volunteers, and bring to class an exciting set of activities for people and pets alike. This extremely popular program, which has graduated over 800 owner/dog teams since its inception in 1997, has generated many long-term supporters of Pawsitive Teams and has produced a number of handler/dog teams who have joined the Pawsitive Teams PAAT Program.

Population(s) Served

Pawsitive Teams makes educational presentations to various groups around San Diego County, including Scout troops, philanthropic organizations, and local groups interested in learning more about dogs that help people. We normally customize these presentations along the lines of the request made to us and often bring our dogs to demonstrate what they've learned! We also provide quick turnaround on questions submitted to us via email or by phone from the general public.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Adults

Where we work

Accreditations

Assistance Dogs International 2015

Assistance Dogs International 2021

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of service dog pups-in-training

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, People with physical disabilities, People with psychosocial disabilities

Related Program

Service Dog Training

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We are seeking to grow the number of pups in training to at least 10 annually by 2027

Total number of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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.

Our goals are to (1) ensure our near and long term financial viability; (2) grow our organization by improving our programs and services and developing new services; and (3) continue development of our administrative plan so that we have efficient and financially sound operating practices.

Pawsitive Teams' volunteers serve communities in San Diego with special needs, whether it be through our Service, Facility, or Therapy Dog programs. The Covid pandemic caused us to put our Therapy Dog Prep School on hiatus for almost a year (thereby decreasing revenue) and caused all of our therapy dog program partners to put our programs on hiatus, some for two years or more. We have evaluated the strategies we need to take to grow our programs and services so as to serve more individuals. Our strategic plan is revised annually and our strategies for growth are outlined therein. In late 2022, we revised our management structure so that each dog program has an experienced manager committed to leading and growing their area. This has spread responsibility and accountability across a group of hard-working, experienced leaders. In 2023, the first target for growth is to expand our Facility Dog program so that there are more Pawsitive Teams' certified Facility Dogs working on a daily basis with their owner/handlers in carefully selected work environments.

Pawsitive Teams has an excellent and loyal donor community, including individuals, community service organizations, and foundations, all of which have been apprised of our growth plans and have rallied behind the organization. As an example: Two years ago, as COVID began and changed our lives, we needed to extend our goal of reaching a $500,000 endowment for long term viability by a year. But, during that first year of COVID, our donors rallied and we made the goal. We have increased our service dog training team and provided them with technology-based assistance in training, as well as our normal in person training and roundtables. Our Therapy Dog Prep School is back up and running and our Therapy Dog Program partners have opened their doors to us again so we believe we will meet our growth plan goals in that area. And in late 2022, when faced with needing a new roof on our 50 year old building, we applied for and were awarded a grant from the San Diego County Board of Supervisors' Neighborhood Reinvestment Program for half the cost of the roof. A board member designated their annual gift to pay for the other half.

Management for the Future: As noted above, due to issues beyond their control, two of our key staff needed to step away from their part-time paid positions. In order to ensure that all of our programs can prosper and grow, we created a new organizational structure, approved by the Board in July 2022. In September, 2022, the new part-time paid management team was put in place and it now includes the Executive Director, a manager for each dog program (Service Dog, Facility Dog, and Therapy Dog Programs), and an Operations Coordinator for our Training Center.
Funding for the future: While our original 25th anniversary celebration plans in terms of both funding and activities did not reach the extraordinary goals that had been set, we were able to bring together donors and volunteers who had not seen each other in three years, hold a public graduation for two of our service dog recipients, and recognize the work of our co-founders for the past 25 years. This good will should be helpful to us moving forward. And while our Endowment actually reached over $600,000 for a brief time in early 2023, the market and economic conditions faced by individuals and organizations alike in 2023 have hit us as well. We have been able to work with our banking team to assist us in moving some of our restricted funds to CDs or money market accounts so as to assist us in any way possible.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time

Financials

Pawsitive Teams 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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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Pawsitive Teams Inc

Board of directors
as of 01/18/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Jean Gertmenian

Retired businesswoman

Term: 2020 - 2024

Ruth Hayward

Retired

Susan DeRose

Retired businesswoman

Jean Gertmenian

Retired businesswoman

Eileen Heveron

Pawsitive Teams Executive Director (non-voting)

Steve Stargardter

United States University President

Cynthia Curiel

Retired businesswoman

Ginny Beneke

Businesswoman

Margery Squier

Businesswoman

Kelli Burger

Businesswoman

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? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • 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? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • 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 2/23/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/15/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.