Helping Paws places service dogs with individuals who have physical disabilities such as MS, spinal cord injuries, CP, and other disabilities where a person can use the assistance of a service dog.
If you are interested in applying for a service dog and meet our Eligibility Requirements, please start the application process by completing a Letter of Interest.
Jake was 16 when his spinal cord was injured. He met Miles, his first Helping Paws service dog, just prior to leaving home for college. “It was a precipice in my life, a very anxious time. Moving away from home, still trying to figure out my new life in a wheelchair, going to this new place and having no friends. The one thing, the one constant reminder that always calmed my nerves was knowing that Miles was going to be right there by my side. Every day. Without Miles, I probably would have called it good upon completing college. College would have just been a mediocre time in my life,and I wouldn’t have the appetite to take my education any further. However, because I enjoyed college so much, I DID want to continue on with my education…” including completing his law degree in early 2016. Jake is now partnered with Foster, his successor dog. Together, they are confidently departing on Jake’s professional career, undeterred by the challenges of a cross-country move and the new work ahead.
Janice welcomed Elsie as her successor dog in 2015. Her first dog, Kona, helped her continue to work in the judicial system, lying quietly near Janice in the courtroom and helping her negotiate the obstacles that accompany working in a downtown setting. Now retired, Janice deliberated if she needed another service dog after Kona died. The activities of living, and the barriers multiple sclerosis presents, nudged her answer to “yes.” Elsie helps Janice with any moment-to-moment needs, including dressing for the day and retrieving objects out of reach. Elsie’s training and skills also alleviate the worry about any unforeseen situations that may arise, providing peace of mind that allows Janice to more fully enjoy family, friends, activities and her blue-coated teammate, Elsie.
Tess and her service dog Macy joined forces in the spring of 2015, approximately a year after Tess had surgery to remove an aggressive tumor on her spine. The surgery left her paralyzed from the waist down. Macy helps Tess with dressing, opening doors, bringing items, and more. Tess says her dog’s “joyous spirit and unshakable loyalty” contribute to the deep bond the two share. The commitment from Macy is matched by the determination Tess holds to move forward, continuing to serve others, live with purpose, and show the world a warm smile.