Category: Blog

At the Wounded Warriors/NFL Legends Football Game

It was a football stadium full of crowd favorites last night, including an honor guard of more than 30 Helping Paws service dogs. Super Bowl LII kicks off on Sunday, but the Wednesday night competition in Saint Paul between the Wounded Warriors Amputee Football Team versus a team of former NFL players held significance for […]

Written by on February 1, 2018

Takeaways from the PTSD Symposium

By Eileen Bohn, Director of Programs   Judy Michurski (Programs Department Administrative Coordinator) and I recently attended an Assistance Dogs International PTSD Trainers’ Symposium sponsored by America’s Vets Dogs and Warrior Connection. It was held in Gaithersburg, Maryland October 27 – 31. Over 160 people from the United States, Canada, Israel, the Netherlands, Australia and […]

Written by on February 1, 2018

Service Dogs in Snow

  Helping Paws service dogs train for all kinds of weather because they work in all kinds of weather.  Snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stay the dogs from performing needed tasks for their partners in life. Preparing them to do so is an ongoing part of the curriculum foster home trainers […]

Written by on January 29, 2018

Foster Home Trainers: The Gifts are a Two-Way Street

Helping Paws Foster Home Trainers are in every way its “heroes behind the scenes.”  In this issue we bring three representative households front and center. Karen and Erika Schmidt: Ella, Delta, and Laska People in search of the “best volunteer gig” need only talk to Karen Schmidt. “How can you do better than starting with […]

Written by on October 3, 2017

New Teams Training: “Peace of Mind, Piece of Heart”

Four new teams are training at Helping Paws, preparing to launch into a full new life together. This class of up-and-coming graduates symbolizes Helping Paws in some ways: The dogs come from four different litter classes (April, Color, Do, and Edge) and the people from different walks of life. Included in the mix is the […]

Written by on October 3, 2017

Veterinarians Speak Out Against Fraudulent Service Dogs

The American Veterinary Medical Association recently released a white paper titled Assistance Animals: Rights of Access and the Problem of Fraud. Although the paper is not an official policy position from the association, it is an exploratory step from the organization’s Animal Welfare Division to prompt discussion on the role of veterinarians with service dogs […]

Written by on October 2, 2017

The People Behind the Puppies

We like to say that every success story at Helping Paws begins with a puppy. It may be safe to say it begins before the puppies are even born, when Caretaker Home volunteers agree to give puppies their first home, to nurture them through the first eight weeks of life. Veterinarians stay on call for […]

Written by on July 11, 2017

Dogs (Still) Making a Difference

“What happens to dogs who leave the program?” is a fair question people direct toward Helping Paws. Sometimes health issues arise for the dogs or a young dog’s personality fits a different career than the one-on-one focus required for a service dog. No matter the reason, very often the people-pleasing Golden or Labrador Retrievers move on […]

Written by on May 3, 2017

They Needed Each Other: Our First Veteran/Service Dog Team

The following story appeared in CityDogs Magazine in March, 2017. We appreciate CityDogs permission to reproduce it here.  Six-year old Golden Retriever Jed and his human handler pal Carl Ringberg were the first graduates of a Helping Paws Veterans with PTSD program designed to train assistance dogs to help veterans affected with Post Traumatic Stress […]

Written by on May 3, 2017

Community Care, Community Action

Helping Paws staff and volunteers provide continuing outreach services and care to graduates and the community at large. A brief list of recent events follows. Graduate Teams Saturday. Fourteen graduates came from near and far to enjoy complimentary dog grooming, lunch, and hear Dr. Jen Quast from Inver Grove Heights Animal Hospital speak on caring […]

Written by on May 3, 2017