Thursday, August 20, 2015

Iowa-trained Service Dog Safe Following Shooting Incident

Wade Baker with service dog Honor, March 2012. PHOTO: © Paws & Effect

On Wed., Aug. 19, 2015 Paws & Effect was notified by canine I.D. chip-tracking vendor HomeAgain that its 6-year-old service dog, a black Labrador named "Honor," was recovered by law enforcement authorities in North Carolina. The dog is safe and healthy.

Established in 2006, Paws & Effect is a Des Moines, Iowa-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that raises, trains, and places service dogs with military veterans and children diagnosed with medical needs.

According to law enforcement and media reports, Wade Allen Baker, 44, formerly of Marshalltown, Iowa, was involved in a Waynesville, N.C. church shooting incident that occurred on Wed., Aug. 19, 2015. Baker reportedly died during this incident.

Paws & Effect placed service dog "Honor" with Baker in March 2012, after he was referred by a treating physician at Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Iowa City, Iowa. He attended an intensive 2-week dog handler training course in March 2012, and, like all Paws & Effect handlers, had regular follow-up communication with Paws & Effect regarding dog training and handling. While still located in Iowa, he occasionally assisted with Paws & Effect's efforts to educate the public regarding service dog use and access.

According to Baker's service record, he served in the U.S. Army from approximately August 1989 to November 1998. His Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) was mechanized infantryman, and he received an honorable discharge. His military awards include the following, as well as others:
  • Army Commendation Award (2nd award)
  • Army Achievement Medal
  • Joint Meritorious Unit Service Award
  • Good Conduct Medal (3rd award)
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Southwest Asia Service Medal with 3 Bronze Service Star
  • Armed Forces Service Medal
  • Overseas Service Ribbon
  • Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
  • Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)
Paws & Effect Executive Director Nicole Shumate, along with the non-profit's board of directors, worked with North Carolina agencies to ensure safe return of Honor to the Baker family. "The loss of life of this veteran is tragic and devastating for his family. We are thankful that there was reportedly no further injury or loss of life to law enforcement and the public. Service dog Honor has been returned to the family to continue in his roles of stress reducer, supporter, and loved family member."

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Book Club Selection Speaks to Paws & Effect Mission

The Paws & Effect Book Club selection for September 2015 is "Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence--and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process" by Irene Pepperberg.

Pepperberg, a scientist who studies animal cognition, tells the story of Alex—short for "Avian Learning Experiment"—an African Grey parrot who mastered a vocabulary of more than 100 words, and was able to answer questions about colors, shapes, and objects.

In her research, Pepperberg indicated that Alex's language abilities were comparable to those of dolphins and great apes. In the book, she also tells of other avian examples of intelligence and understanding.

"Paws & Effect is deeply committed to celebrating and contributing to research about the human-animal bond, and the roles that animals can play in our lives," says Executive Director Nicole Shumate. "That's why our book club uses titles like 'Alex & Me' as foundations for discussion. That's why we're partnering with brain researchers at Des Moines University. And that's why our latest litter of future service dogs is named to honor individuals such as co-founder of Pet Partners Leo Bustad; primatologist Jane Goodall; and animal scientist and autism activist Temple Grandin. In addition to 'Leo,' 'Goodall,' and 'Grandin,' we have our own 'Alex'!"

The book club discussion will take place 6:30 to 8 p.m., Thurs., Sept. 17, 2015 at the Grand View University main campus library, Des Moines, Iowa.

The library is located on East 14th Street, between Grandview and Morton Avenues. For directions to campus and maps, click here.

The book is also available available on Kindle format.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Come Dine with Us at Second Annual 'Tables & Tails'!

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is one of the laws that helps ensure people who use service dogs can access buildings and businesses in the course of their daily lives. Together with Iowa restaurateurs, Central Iowa non-profit Paws & Effect will celebrate the 25th anniversary of this landmark legislation with its Second Annual "Tables & Tales" event!

Throughout July, select Central and Eastern Iowa restaurants will contribute a portion of proceeds to support training service and mobility dogs for children and military veterans.

"These business owners regularly open their doors to make dining experiences that are memorable, safe, and enjoyable for all patrons," says Nicole Shumate, executive director of Paws & Effect. "We’re humbled that they’re extending their hospitality to help us celebrate and improve service-dog access in our community."

Established in 2006, Paws & Effect is a Des Moines, Iowa-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that raises, trains, and places service dogs with military veterans and children diagnosed with medical needs. The group also registers therapy animals through Pet Partners, and regularly hosts NADAC-sanctioned dog-agility events for fun and fund-raising. Its new Beaverdale neighborhood storefront also serves as a training center, as well as home base to Troop 232 of the Dog Scouts of America.

"Restaurant and bar owners, hospitality managers, and food service personnel are often at the front lines of ensuring that guests who use service dogs are able to exercise their rights of public access hassle-free," says Shumate. "Service dogs aren’t pets or companions. Instead, a service dog is trained to perform physical tasks to mitigate a given person’s one or more medical conditions. The reasons for someone using a service dog may not be visible, but they are vital to that person’s quality of life."

"It’s just like using a cane, or wearing glasses,” she says. “And the law protects all of us."

Patrons can participate in "Tables & Tails" by dining at these sponsoring restaurants:
  • Eden's "Sundae Sunday," featuring ice cream from Indianola's Outside Scoop: July 26, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Additional sponsored prizes and events are provided by:

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Dog Scouts Troop No. 232 Hits the Trail for Badges

PHOTO: Paws & Effect
Members of various Paws & Effect programs recently established Dog Scouts Troop No. 232. The troop is an affiliate of Dog Scouts of America, a non-profit that started in 1989. Through a certification and specialty "merit badge" program incorporating more than 80 awards, the organization promotes safe, fun, and ethical activities for dogs and their handlers. There are more than 38 posts nationwide, in more than 22 states.

Merit badges categories include those in scouting, community service, agility, trail work, and other activities.

Dog Scouts and their handlers must be capable of acting as good citizens, including sit, down, stay, come, heel and leave it. Handlers must successfully pass a 33-question written examination. The written test covers topics such as: reward-based training, learning theory, and the mission of Dog Scouts of America.

As of June 10, a pawful of Troop 232 dogs have already achieved the Dog Scout certification and title. Prior to certification, dogs are optionally called "Cadet Scouts."

"Sponsoring Dog Scout activities are a great way to regularly gather people and dogs together, especially those who may live too far away for weekly classes," says Paws & Effect Executive Director Nicole Shumate. "Service dog recipients and Pet Partners will now have options that are more accommodating to their circumstances. Plus, what military veteran doesn't immediately want their dog to 'tab-out,' with plenty of qualification badges?"

At a weekend troop meeting conducted at Brown's Woods in West Des Moines, Iowa, participants worked toward their Hiking badges. The next weekend-long troop meeting will be Sept. 25-27, 2015. Training and preparation will take place on Friday and Saturday, with evaluations on Sunday.

Paws & Effect plans to conduct smaller, 2-hour badge workshops once or twice a month. All dogs are welcome at all meetings, whether they have earned their Dog Scout badge or not. The first workshop will be Fri., June 19 at 7 p.m. Participants will work toward their Manners badges.

A Facebook page for the Dog Scouts organization is here.

Friday, May 29, 2015

We Celebrate 9 Years by Opening Our New Storefront!

Simultaneously celebrating its ninth year of training service, therapy, and other animals, Paws & Effect has officially opened the doors of its new storefront facility in the Beaverdale neighborhood of Des Moines, Iowa!

The address of our 1,500-square-foot space is 2629 Beaver Ave.—just a few doors down from landmark independent bookseller, Beaverdale Books!

Established in 2006, Paws & Effect is a Des Moines, Iowa-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that raises, trains, and places service dogs with military veterans and children diagnosed with medical needs. The group also registers therapy animals through Pet Partners, and regularly hosts NADAC-sanctioned dog-agility events for fun and fund raising.

"As we gallop toward our 10th anniversary next year, establishing our own training and meet-up space was the next natural milestone for our organization," says Nicole Shumate, executive director for Paws & Effect. "We're building and sustaining our communities—puppy-raisers, dog trainers, Pet Partners, Dog Scouts, military veterans, allies and others—people and animals working together, for our mutual good."

The new space features an office, training space, a community blackboard wall, and a reading room and lending library for both pets and handlers! Training class schedules and other events are now available! Sign up here!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

'Far from the Tree' is Book Club Selection for June 25

The next Paws & Effect Book Club selection for 2015 is "Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity" by Andrew Solomon.

The discussion will take place 6:30 to 8 p.m., Thurs., June 25, 2105 at the Grand View University main campus library, Des Moines, Iowa.

The library is located on East 14th Street, between Grandview and Morton Avenues. For directions to campus and maps, click here.

"Far From the Tree is one of the most compassionate books I have ever read that treads in the deep, deep water of human differences," says Paws & Effect Executive Director Nicole Shumate. "This book attempts and succeeds in bringing in a unique point of view about differences; front and foremost it includes those family members and friends who love that person who is different."

"Paws & Effect works with people every day whose lives may be very different from our own," Shumate continues. "This book both honors and celebrates differences, quickly doing away with stigma and prejudice, often finding perspectives that allow the rest of us to embrace the very things that we deemed difficult to begin with."

The 976-page (including 200 pages of notes) book is also available available on Kindle or unabridged audiobook formats.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

No (April) Foolin' Around!



Paws & Effect is excited to offer pet dog classes! We've brought together an experienced staff and some new-to-Des Moines opportunities.  With a commitment to positive and clicker training, community members can now benefit from the same techniques as our service dogs and Pet Partner therapy teams.

Paws & Effect is excited to introduce Ashley Anderson and Haylee Bergeland, who will be joining Heddie Leger, Nicole Shumate and Eric Shumate.  This well-rounded team brings various backgrounds and experiences, creating a fun dynamic.

Ashley is our lead service dog trainer, the first Iowa Karen Pryor Academy graduate with her certification as a training professional (KPA-CPT).  Years of showing her own dogs in rally, obedience and agility gives Ashley an understanding of what is expected in the show ring, offset by her practical experiences raising and training service dogs (give Ashley a big congratulations on her recent accomplishment of raising the first ever clicker trained guide dog for Guide Dogs for the Blind)!

Haylee joins Paws & Effect with experience training shelter and rescue dogs.  She has worked as a training coordinator and behavior specialist for a large sized shelter, overseeing the development of dogs after they were adopted.  Haylee has an Associate Degree in Animal Science with an emphasis in animal behavior and husbandry.

Heddie comes to Paws & Effect with a Certification for Pet Dog Trainers-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA).  With years of experience as a dog trainer for Missouri's Puppies For Parole, Heddie combines her vast Pet Partner and Dog Scout knowledge as an instructor and evaluator for both organizations.

Nicole brings more than a decade of experience as a Pet Partner evaluator and instructor, with a never-ending enthusiasm.  Originally (and still wholeheartedly!) a Denver Pet Partner, she has a keen eye for making the most of what our dogs bring to our lives.  Eric is also a Pet Partner evaluator and instructor, bringing his perspective to Paws & Effect after serving for many years on the National Pet Partner Committee.

Classes will run over six weeks at a cost of $100, meeting once each week for an hour with a limit of six students.  Discounts are extended to veterans, military members, Pet Partners and Paws & Effect service dog recipients. Check out our training page for information and to register for all of our classes by clicking here!

We're looking forward to meeting you (and your dog) soon!


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Our Next NADAC-sanctioned Agility Trials are May 2-3!

Entries are now open for the next Paws & Effect NADAC Agility Trials, scheduled Saturday and Sunday, May 2-3, 2015 at the Jester Park Equestrian Center, 11171 N.W. 103rd Court, Granger, Iowa north of Des Moines. The judge will be Robin Carberry of Joliet, Ill.

The premium describing the event's rules and other details is downloadable as a PDF here. Entries are open from March 17, 2015 to both days of the event.

A Facebook page for the event is here.

The purpose of events sanctioned by the North American Dog Agility Council (NADAC) is "to demonstrate the ability of a dog and its handler to work as a smoothly functioning team." They are also great opportunities to meet up with other dogs and their enthusiasts. For general rules and information on NADAC events, click here.

Established in 2006, Paws & Effect is a Des Moines, Iowa-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that raises, trains, and places service dogs with military veterans and children diagnosed with medical needs. The group also registers therapy animals through Pet Partners, and regularly hosts NADAC-sanctioned dog-agility events for fun and fund raising.

Paws & Effect is also widely known for its dog-agility programs, through which children participate in physical, occupational, and speech therapy while taking a therapy dog through an agility course.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Next Book Club Selection: 'In a Dog's Heart,' April 16

The second Paws & Effect Book Club selection for 2015 is "In a Dog's Heart: A Compassionate Guide to Canine Care, from Adopting to Teaching to Bonding"by Jennifer Arnold. In 1991, Arnold founded Canine Assistants, a Milton, Ga.-based non-profit that trains service and seizure-response dogs for children and adults diagnosed with medical needs.

According to her biography, Arnold and her family learned about the value of mobility dogs after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and spent two years of her adolescence using a wheelchair-user.

"I have come to believe that dogs are among God's greatest creations," Arnold writes on her Amazon author page. "I also believe that we have a responsibility to treat them with respect and kindness. Force and intimidation have no place in working with dogs."

"In a Dog's Heart" is Arnold's second book. Her first, "Through a Dog's Eyes: Understanding Our Dogs by Understanding How They See the World" was turned into a one-hour television program on PBS.

The Paws & Effect book club discussion will take place 6:30 to 8 p.m., Thurs., Apr. 7, 2105 at the Grand View University main campus library, Des Moines, Iowa.

The library is located on East 14th Street, between Grandview and Morton Avenues. For directions to campus and maps, click here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Join Us for Our Third Annual Cross-Country Race & Walk!

In our third annual event, participants in Paws & Effect's Cross Country Race will have the options to run 5k or 10k, or walk 5k. We're excited to announce this year's event will be held at Living History Farms, Urbandale, Iowa! The event is Sun., June 7, 2015. The 5k starts at 8:30 a.m. The 10k starts at 9 a.m.

The Youth Dash/Run is set for 10 a.m. (FREE for kids 12 and under).


Pets are welcome.

Established in 2006, Paws & Effect is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that raises, trains, and places service dogs with military veterans and children diagnosed with medical needs. The Central Iowa organization also registers therapy animals through Pet Partners, and hosts community dog-agility trials as fund-raising events.

Proceeds from the Cross Country Race will not only help Paws & Effect fulfill its mission, but also help to ensure that recipients receive service dogs free of charge.

REGISTRATION

Register through our friends at GetMeRegistered! Registration fees provide entry to the race and trophies (awarded for designated categories). Following the race, you'll enjoy a root beer float in a custom Paws & Effect glass (yours to keep!) along with an array of snacks. You’ll also hear from recipients of Paws & Effect service dogs.

Children ages 12 & under are free.


You can also purchase Paws & Effect T-shirts for $20 at the event.

Packet pickup will be on the Sat., June 6—the same day as Living History Farm's "Fido on the Farm" event!

CHIP TIMER PICK-UP

Chips will be picked up the morning of the event from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. All chip timers will be collected at the finish line. A fee will be charged for chips not turned in at the end of the race.

PRIZES

Prizes will be awarded to the top finishers. Categories will be announced soon.

Registrants will receive an email with specific details concerning the event. You can also keep informed about Paws & Effect through our website, our Facebook page.

For more information about the event, or to find out more about Paws & Effect, e-mail: nicoleshumate@paws-effect.org


PLEASE NOTE: No refunds will be issued in the event of inclement weather or other unforseen challenges whereas the event would need to be cancelled.