We are a St. Paul, MN nonprofit training service dogs for veterans and first responders.

Your donation will be used to train service dogs to empower our nation's heroes.    

   DONATE            LEARN MORE    


Service dogs in training practicing down

 Your gift saves lives--and we prove it.

Read our independent third-party impact evaluation


Your donation brings independence to:


Veterans with multiple disabilities

Combat veterans

“I trained with Pawsitivity Service Dogs in 2019 and received the trained service dog, Daniel, an adult black Labrador Retriever, to partner with in support of my PTSD received during combat in my service with the U.S. Army during OIF I and OEF VII. 

Pawsitivity not only trained Daniel to meet my needs but trained me as well to work with Daniel, communicate with him, understand my rights and be a responsible and proactive service animal owner. Pawsitivity embodies all of the seven Army core values; especially honor, integrity and selfless service. They are some of the kindest, hardworking and generous folks I have ever had the pleasure of spending time with.  

I enthusiastically recommend the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Pawsitivity Service Dogs to veterans who need a service dog.”



Emotional support dogs for first responders


First responders who are combat veterans

 First responders: They put their lives on the line for us. Now it's our turn to help them.

Veterans who are now police, paramedics, and firefighters have served our country and our communities with courage and dedication. They have risked their lives to protect us, and they continue to put their lives on the line every day. First responders often face unimaginable challenges, and they can suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health issues. Emotional support dogs can provide much-needed support to first responders, helping them to cope with stress.



We also work with veteran families

Veterans and first responders who have children with severe disabilities 

Your generosity is a lifeline for veterans who have children with severe disabilities, including autism, blindness, deafness, and epilepsy.

Violet, who has severe autism, is just one example of how a Pawsitivity dog can change a life. With your help, we can provide service dogs to other veterans' children like Violet. These dogs provide much-needed assistance, and they can help veterans' children with disabilities live more independent and fulfilling lives.  



From rescued to rescuing

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you rescue dogs?


We rescue dogs from shelters, accept donated puppies, and work with veterans who have their own dogs.

When did you start Pawsitivity? What disabilities do you train for?

Pawsitivity was founded in 2012, achieved 501(c)(3) status in 2014, and our EIN is 47-144663. We train service dogs for U.S. military veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), missing limbs, no or low vision, deafness, seizures, and more. We also train service dogs to help children of veterans and veterans with disabilities who weren't in combat.

How much does it cost to raise and train a service dog?

While we provide service dogs at no cost to the veteran, it takes $25,000 to raise and train a PTSD service dog for a veteran. This cost was determined by Congress in a 3-year study which proved that PTSD service dogs transform the lives of veterans and reduce suicide ideation.

How long is the process?

Two years.

Pawsitivity trains service dogs for veterans with PTSD and other disabilities for up to two years. Six months of the service dog training process is spent directly with the veteran, which is crucial as it allows the handler to learn how to keep up the training of their service dog (although we also provide lifelong support). Working with the veteran and dog together can be a life-changing experience for both of them because they become a team that can rely on each other for support.

The training process is rigorous, but it is worth it for the life-changing benefits that it provides to both the veteran and the service dog.

If the veteran can’t keep the dog for some reason, will you take the dog back?


If a veteran can no longer care for their dog for any reason, we will do everything in our power to receive the dog back and find it a loving home. We will not leave a loyal companion behind.

What do you do if the dog fails out?

Career change!

Not every dog is cut out to be a service dog for a veteran. But that doesn't mean they don't have a purpose. For those dogs who don't make the cut, we offer a second chance at a career as a therapy dog or a loving family pet. We call these dogs “Career Change Dogs”, and they are just as important as the dogs who go on to become service dogs. They provide comfort and companionship to those in need, and they deserve a second chance at happiness.


Give with confidence.


Platinum Transparency Charities Review Council Annual Report Impact Evaluation


Together, we can empower our nation's warriors.

Here's how you can take action today: