Joining the Hero Dog Awards as the official t-shirt, Dog is Good had the great fortune to learn about so many organizations working to make the world a better place through dog companionship. One of the new organizations we have connected with this year is Power Paws. Power Paws is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering adults and children with disabilities for greater independence. According to the organizations website “2000 US Census, over 25 million Americans are unable to walk 1/4 of a mile or even climb 10 stairs without some kind of assistance. At Power Paws, we believe that it is the right of every person to pursue the quality of life they want, and by providing skilled service dogs we can give back to our communities and their citizens.”
Power Paws Assistance Dogs was founded by Miss Shoshanna Abels. Miss Abels was raised in a family where community service was highly valued. Shoshanna’s family became volunteer puppy raisers for several assistance dog organizations and Shoshanna found her passion in this program. When she graduated from high school in 1999, Shoshanna studied with Dr. Bergin and graduated as The Assistance Dog Institute’s youngest student. Shoshanna returned to Scottsdale, Arizona and founded Power Paws Assistance Dogs, Inc. Power Paws Assistance Dogs became incorporated in 2001, received their 501 c 3 status and began training and placing assistance dogs. Since 2001, Power Paws has certified 52 teams and currently has over 30 dogs in training.
In alignment with our own beliefs regarding the dog-human bond, Power Paws is able to bring a significant benefit to many lives through service dogs. According to the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development (11/2008) persons with mobility issues experienced a better social life, more social acknowledgement from strangers and positive changes in psychological functioning as a direct result of their service dog. 80% of adults with mobility and hearing impairments reported higher self esteem, increased content, and an increase in assertiveness. They also reported being less lonely and researchers found less depression in their test group.
To their credit, Power Paws has been able to provide assistance dogs to people with disabilities within one to two years from the completion of an application. “This remains one of the shortest waiting times in the industry.” Robyn Abels, Executive Director
Through Hero Dog Awards and Dog is Good Affiliate sales programs we are able to provide support to many organizations through your purchases of your favorite Dog is Good merchandise. Please visit http://www.azpowerpaws.org/ and click on the Dog is Good banner to shop and support Power Paws Assistance Dogs.