We are a nonprofit 501(c)(3) in St. Paul, MN, on a mission to train service dogs for veterans with PTSD and other disabilities.  

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Help empower U.S. military veterans.

Our country is in a crisis. U.S. military veterans are returning home with Traumatic Brain Injuries, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other disabilities. But you can help. 100% of your donation will be used to train lifesaving service dogs for our nation's warriors. 


Service dogs in training practicing down


Give with confidence.

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22 veterans commit suicide every day. We are on a mission to change that.

The #1 task? Alert:
 Our service dogs alert veterans to when PTSD symptoms are just starting to rise. This alert empower veterans who can use it as an early-warning system, giving a “heads up!” to the veteran so they can take steps to manage their emotions before they become overwhelming

Support veterans physically: Many veterans have physical issues, which can range from bad backs to Traumatic Brain Injuries. Our service dogs provide physical support, helping the veterans with balance or mobility.

Support veterans emotionally: PTSD has been called the “signature injury” of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Veterans can use the emotional support that their service dogs give them in order to go out into their communities and lead more independent lives.






 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.”

  We also work with veteran families

Veteran families 

Your generosity is a lifeline for military families who have children with severe disabilities. 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 who are struggling with autism, blindness, deafness, epilepsy. These dogs provide much-needed assistance, and they can help veterans' children with disabilities live more independent and fulfilling lives.  


Emotional support dogs for first responders


First responders who are 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.


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.

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

$25,000 is the cost 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 do you train the dogs?

Pawsitivity Service Dogs for Veterans has a four-stage training program for rescue dogs. Each stage is critical to the development of a well-behaved and obedient service dog.

  • Stage 1: Medical Exam and Assessment: The first stage of training begins with a thorough medical exam by a veterinarian. This exam ensures that the dog is healthy and free of any conditions that could interfere with training. The veterinarian will also assess the dog's temperament and personality to determine if they are a good fit for the service dog program.
  • Stage 2: Basic Obedience Training: The second stage of training focuses on basic obedience commands such as sit, stay, come, and down. The dog is also taught to walk nicely on a leash and to ignore distractions. This stage of training is essential for ensuring that the dog is well-behaved and under control in all situations. Our training methods are based on positive reinforcement, which is the same method used by the U.S. Army working dog program and Guide Dogs for the Blind
  • Stage 3: Public Access Training: The third stage of training focuses on public access skills. This includes teaching the dog how to behave in different environments such as grocery stores, malls, and public transportation. The dog is also taught how to deal with different types of people and animals. This stage of training is essential for ensuring that the dog is able to function safely and independently in public.
  • Stage 4: Placement: The fourth and final stage of training involves placing the dog with a person who needs a service dog. The dog is then trained to perform specific tasks that will help the veteran with their disability. This stage of training is essential for ensuring that the dog is able to provide the veteran with the level of support they need.
  • After Graduation: After graduation, Pawsitivity provides lifetime support for the service dog team. This includes providing training updates, resources, and support groups. Pawsitivity Service Dogs for Veterans is committed to ensuring that every veteran who receives a service dog from their program has the tools and support they need to live a full and independent life.

How long is the process?

Two years.

Pawsitivity trains service dogs for up to two years, six months of which is spent directly with the handler. This is a crucial part of the process, as it allows the handler to learn how to take care of their dog and keep them in good health. The handler also learns how to train the dog to do specific tasks that will help them with their disability. This can be a life-changing experience for both the veteran and the dog, as 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 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, 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. 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.


Together, we can help our nation's warriors.

Here's how you can take action today: