Pawsitivity works with veterans who are most in need: those who have multiple disabilities.
We also work with veterans who have children with disabilities.
Pawsitivity was originally founded with a specialty of working with children with autism, who often have multiple disabilities such as epilepsy, medical PTSD, or even blindness. Many of the parents we worked with in those early years were veterans who were themselves disabled. We soon became the “go to” charity that other organizations would refer clients to when their organizations could not meet the needs of veterans’ complicated lives.
Why is Pawsitivity able to work with veterans that other service dog organizations are unable to help? Part of the reason is that Pawsitivity stays small in order to treat each individual’s specific needs and circumstances. Another reason is that large service dog organizations, in contrast to Pawsitivity, must house the service dog trainees in kennels for their final training. The mission of these large organizations requires graduating large numbers of dogs, and that requirement necessitates a more mass-production approach. In larger organizations, dogs in their final training period are in their kennels over 23 hours a day. Their long days of kenneling mean that many of their dogs fail out, including many that would have been terrific for veterans with PTSD or their children who have disabilities. We get that large organizations must use this method to keep up their numbers, but since we are smaller, we have more flexibility in this area of our work, as well. At Pawsitivity, we make sure that all the trainee dogs spend their entire days with people. Our graduate dogs are both sensitive and highly-socialized and thus uniquely suited to serving the needs of veterans with multiple disabilities and veterans who have children with disabilities.
As our motto says, we don’t work with more veterans. We work with veterans who need it the most.
Pawsitivity trains each service dog to specifically help increase independence, reduce symptoms, reduce families' dependence on caregivers. We also train the veterans and their families who receive the dogs, to ensure that the handler-dog team will be a successful one. Finally, our team works closely to ensure that every dollar is accounted for and then provides reports back to our donors. Learn about our approach, the solutions we find, and how we work with local partners.
“As you will see, the impact was substantial and often life-changing.”