Tuesday, December 5, 2023

You can help 4 Paws For Ability puppies get started on their service dog journey

If you are reading Ohio Barker, no doubt that you love puppies. If you want to play a key role in helping service dogs embark on their journey, 4 Paws For Ability has a special need for volunteers to help with its younger (8 to 12 weeks old) puppies.

“These tiny, fluffy balls of service dog potential need hugs, treats and instruction on how to navigate this gigantic new world,” a 4 Paws For Ability staffer wrote on the organization’s Facebook page. “We have more pups than usual onsite because of our immediate need for more volunteer trainers. Though we are still working on getting our temporary Puppy House ready for these little floofs, we have resorted to renting a mobile office space to hold the puppies.

4 Paws For Ability puppies await the start of their journey to becoming service dogs

“They will get the same love and care from our staff while they are in there, but the best possible place for a very small service dog in training is with a volunteer trainer,” the post continued. “In some ways, they take more work than their bigger siblings in the program.”

These puppies need to visit the 4 Paws headquarters every two weeks to get the medical attention growing puppies need to stay healthy. They need to work diligently on learning to use the bathroom outside. They cannot walk on public grass since they are not yet fully vaccinated.

“In other ways, the youngest pups in the program are easier, especially during the pandemic,” 4 Paws For Ability’s staffer continued. “They nap more, they have to take shorter outings since their little legs get tired, and it is much easier to find new socialization activities in the home because so much is still new to them.”

Based in Xenia, 4 Paws For Ability is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to place quality service dogs with children with disabilities and veterans who have lost use of limbs or hearing, and educate the public regarding use of service dogs in public places. Here is the story of the organization’s origins and growth, as written by founder and executive director Karen Shirk.

If you live close to Xenia and are interested, apply here.

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