Skip to main content
What We DoOur ImpactSocial JusticeContact UsCommunity PartnersFAQsVideos
site background
site background

4 Paws for Ability



What region or area do you provide services in?

Providing Service Dogs to Children Worldwide

How and when did the organization get started?

4 Paws was founded in 1998 by Karen Shirk after she tried unsuccessfully for years to obtain a service dog from traditional service dog agencies. At the time, Karen often used a ventilator to breathe and the agencies she applied to found her too disabled to receive a service dog. After obtaining her own dog and finding the training herself, Karen dreamed of a place where applicants for service dogs were not judged based on the severity of disability and set out to start her own organization. Her dream became the large, thriving, respected nonprofit organization 4 Paws for Ability is today!

How many employees does your organization have?

80 employees

We have over 500 onsite volunteers who help at our facility, over 1,000 Volunteer Trainers who foster and work with our service dogs in training, and over 100 Guardian Home volunteers who house our breeder dogs.

logo image
Calendar of EventsVolunteer OpportunitiesDonateEducator Resource Center
Contact Us!