According to an independent, third-party Impact Evaluation, Pawsitivity Service Dogs is very different from other service dog organizations. Besides working with rescue dogs, the other qualities of Pawsitivity that the evaluation pointed out are:
QUALITIES OF PAWSITIVITY
Pawsitivity builds long-term relationships with its families. The people who received service dogs took as a given the high-quality training that the service dogs and their families received. They appreciated the relationship they had with Tom and Julie through initial contact, training, and beyond.
PAWSITIVITY LISTENS AND ADAPTS
People appreciated that Pawsitivity listened to and adapted to their needs. Service dogs need care and routine to maintain their training. The family life of the people who received a service dog was often complicated. It included school and homecare, multiple children, multiple disabilities, more than one pet, or split families. Families appreciated that Pawsitivity worked with them to successfully integrate a service dog into their unique family life.
“Tom and Julie were willing to listen to us. They were willing to work with us. They understood our situation.”
Some people noted that they came to Pawsitivity because other service dog providers did not train service dogs for their disability or situation. For instance, one person could not find another service dog provider that served non-veterans with PTSD. Another person had a particular set of requirements that could not be met by other providers.
“The other places I called said, we don’t train for that, or we don’t have that available. They just shut you down right away. Tom listened to my story and said we might have a fit for you. He didn’t just cut me off. He was open to maybe we could make this work. The more we talked, we realized it was very doable.”
One critical aspect of Pawsitivity’s service was the home visiting period. Most people highlighted the importance of Pawsitivity coming to their home and providing on-site training based on their daily routines. This on-site training helped integrate the service dog into the new environment and helped the family troubleshoot with a high level of support.
“Pawsitivity did a really good job of getting my service dog into what I would be doing every day. Tom took us places that would be part of my daily routine.”
PAWSITIVITY IS AVAILABLE AND SUPPORTIVE
Pawsitivity continued to support the families and individuals with service dogs beyond the initial training. Many people and families who received service dogs maintained communication with Pawsitivity after the initial training and handoff. People felt comfortable texting or calling Pawsitivity with questions and appreciated Pawsitivity’s responsiveness.
“I feel free to text Pawsitivity. I’ll text them when something is going on or if there is a problem. I texted Tom when my service dog first got sick and I kept her from working. I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing. He said, ‘You are using your judgment and that’s good.”
Some of the families and individuals who received service dogs thought that Pawsitivity went above and beyond in providing help after the initial training. Some mentioned that Pawsitivity provided additional training to help with a unique situation that popped up after the initial transition to the home. Others commented that Pawsitivity always seemed to be sending those toys and tools for their service dog.
“I was surprised at how many products they have sent me over time. When we moved, they sent me a second mat for our service dog to use. Tom sent me a free bag of dog food. They send me toys and goodies now and then.”
Perhaps most importantly, most families and individuals who received service dogs felt that they had a caring friendship with Tom and Julie. Some of the people who received service dogs said that they considered Tom and Julie a part of their family.
“Tom is so caring and thoughtful. When we first met him, instantly, the whole family felt a connection. I now consider Tom and Julie good friends. They have become very special people to us.”