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Service Dogs

Service dogs can be life changing, and in many cases life saving! The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) says “ a service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.  The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability.” (

The ADA protects the rights of individuals with disabilities to bring their service dog into public places, so that the benefits of a service animal is not limited to the home. When you receive a 4 Paws for Ability service dog, you will be able to take your service dog into restaurants, on airplanes, into school, and many other places! 

4 Paws for Ability places many different types of service dogs, and is well known for its specialized work by placing service dogs with children. Handling a service dog means the individual must be able to physically manage a large breed dog and be able to cognitively and behaviorally make the correct choices for the team in public and at home. However, 4 Paws is able to place service dogs with young children and those that due to their disability would not be able to handle a service dog, by training a parent or other support person to handle the service dog for them. At 4 Paws, this is known as a three unit team: Parent/Handler, Child/Partner and Service Dog. 4 Paws also places service dogs on a two unit team: Child/Partner and Service Dog when the partner has shown themselves to be able to independently handle the service dog without any support both in the home and in public, this is determined during the placement training class. 

Click on the links below to learn more about the different types of service dogs that we place and what skills are possible to be trained on a three unit team or a two unit team.