Join Us for ‘One Heart, Four Paws’ 2017!

The 2017 “One Heart,Four Paws” event will take place from 1 to 3 p.m., Sun., February 12 at the Blank Park Zoo, 7401 S.W. 9th Street, Des Moines, Iowa. The event will includepuppy-paintings a silent auction, a book corner, a tricks performance, and more.

“We work hard with our handlers, partners, volunteers, and animals to improve lives in our community, but every so often, it’s good to have a party,” says Paws & Effect Executive Director Nichole Shumate. “‘One Heart, Four Paws’ is our celebration of the human-animal bond, which, appropriately enough, takes place annually around Valentine’s Day!”

Established in 2006 and based in Des Moines, 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 group also registers therapy animals through Pet Partners. Its Beaverdale neighborhood storefront also serves as , as well as home base to Troop 232 of the Dog Scouts of America.

Persons wishing to attend “One Heart, Four Paws” event can R.S.V.P. via e-mail nicoleshumate AT paws-effect DOT org. There is no charge for the event.

Nov. 6 Book Club: Sebastian Junger’s ‘Tribe’

tribe-coverThe next Paws & Effect Book Club selection is the non-fiction work “Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging” by Sebastian Junger.

Junger is the author of such books as “War” (2010) and “The Perfect Storm” (1997), as well as co-director of the documentaries “Restrepo” (2010), “Korengal” (2014), and “The Last Patrol” (2014).

“We have a strong instinct to belong to small groups defined by clear purpose and understanding—’tribes,'” marketing materials for the book read. “This tribal connection has been largely lost in modern society, but regaining it may be the key to our psychological survival.”

The book club discussion will take place starting 6:30 p.m., Sun., Nov. 6, at Barnes & Noble, Shoppes At Three Fountains
4550 University Ave, West Des Moines, Iowa.

The book is available at Barnes & Noble, and via the company website here.

We are Charity Partner to 8 ‘Hero Dog’ Nominees!

hero-dog-awards
Paws & Effect is the proud charity partner of eight therapy dogs nominated as finalists in the 2016 Hero Dog Awards, conducted annually by the American Humane Association. Therapy dogs are socialized and trained to provide assistance to more than just one person. As a charity partner, the Des Moines, Iowa-based non-profit will be awarded up to $2,500 if any of these dogs achieves the highest number of on-line votes in their category.

Voting ends 12 noon Pacific Time April 27, 2016. You can see the entire ballot and vote here. You can vote in each category once per day. In last year’s contest, more than 1.5 million on-line votes were cast by the public.

Paws & Effect also has a connection to Hunter, a 2016 Hero Dog nominee in the service dog category. Service dogs are trained to perform tasks for specific individuals, in order to mitigate diagnosed physical and/or mental conditions.

Established in 2006, Paws & Effect is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that raises, trains, and places service dogs with military veterans and children diagnosed with medical needs. Paws & Effect also hosts Pet Partner training courses and evaluations, supporting therapy teams throughout the state of Iowa. Paws & Effect is widely known for its dog agility programs, where children may complete their physical, occupational, and speech therapy while taking a therapy dog through an agility course.

Paws & Effect is charity partner for the following therapy dog nominees, presented here in ballot order:

  • Sam, a 7-year-old Labrador mix from Saluda, N.C., who visits veterans, retirement facilities, hospitals, hospice centers, schools and libraries four to five times a week
  • Tulip, a rescued American Pit Bull Terrier from Raleigh, N.C., whose favorite place is a special-needs school, where many children have autism, Down syndrome, or have had traumatic experiences. Tulip visits for their reading program and to help give them comfort and support.
  • Ellie Belly Sugar Jelly, a certified therapy animal from Belleville, Mich., who visits hospitals, senior centers and libraries.
  • Jeanie, a three-legged rescue from Lake Charles, La., who visits hospitals, nursing homes, reading programs, and veteran’s homes, where “she is a hit with fellow amputees.” She also comforts children at an advocacy center, as they are questioned by investigators in abuse cases.
  • Skooter, a Labrador/shepherd mix from Livermore, Calif., who got his accidental start as a therapy dog when providing assistance to an ailing marathon runner. He now has more than 100 volunteer hours working with veterans, senior citizens, and children.
  • Karma, a rescued Great Pyrenees who was originally trained in prison to guard an equine therapy herd. Instead, the dog from Webster Groves, Mo. demonstrated an ability to connect with troubled adolescents.
  • Jake, a 12-year-old dog from Yukon, Okla. who works to provide comfort to those who are physically or emotionally distressed, including people in hospital or mass trauma sites. “As a senior dog, Jake’s calm and patient demeanor with patients is so amazing to watch,” his nomination reads.
  • Sky, a fluffy Husky rescue from Hollywood, Md., who works with veterans and hospice patients, who has brought voice and howls of laughter to those he has visited.

Reminder: Voting ends 12 noon Pacific Time April 27, 2016. You can see the entire ballot and vote here. You can vote in each category once per day.

Winning ‘One Heart, Four Paws’ Haiku Announced

At its February 2016 “One Heart, Four Paws” event, Central Iowa non-profit Paws & Effect announced the winners of the haiku contest celebrating the connections among animals and humans. The event was held at the Blank Park Zoo, 7401 S.W. 9th Street, Des Moines, Iowa., and featured the book launch for Missouri author Heddie Wittlin-Leger’s “Hero to the Rescue.”.

For more information about the “Hero to the Rescue” book launch, click here.

Established in 2006 and based in Des Moines, 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 group also registers therapy animals through Pet Partners, and regularly hosts NADAC-sanctioned dog-agility events for fun and fund-raising. Its Beaverdale neighborhood storefront also serves as a training center, as well as home base to Troop 232 of the Dog Scouts of America.

“We were very pleased with how much emotion and even humor people were able to communicate in just a few, carefully selected words,” says Paws & Effect Executive Director Nicole Shumate. “The poems selected for recognition convey just how interconnected we all are.”

Poems were selected by journalist-turned-poet Randy Brown, author of “Welcome to FOB Haiku: War Poems from Inside the Wire.”

Winners of the 2016 haiku contest were:

Neil Ruddy, Carlisle, Iowa
First place

1.
Dog either sits and
won’t move, or pulls like she’s in
the Iditarod.

2.
As we walk through the
brown trees, the dog’s leash scrapes off
and scatters their seeds.

3.
Be mindful of pets,
for they will forever be
mindful of you, too.

4.
Your pet’s job is to
bear witness; to love you just
for being alive.

5.
If you want to have
the best seat in the house, you’ll
have to move the cat.

Sydney Devine, Des Moines, Iowa
Second place

1.
Chirping birds outside.
Little lion through the glass.
Together, watching.

2.
Big green eyes looking.
Fluffy black fur, gentle paw.
Curious, my friend.

3.
Footprints in the snow,
a companion in the cold.
In moonlight, we go.

Angie & Chelsea Sloan, Corydon, Iowa
Honorable mention

These dogs fill my heart:
Casha, Draco, and Ollie
weather storms with me.

Winning poems were assembled into a 9-page booklet designed and produced by Eric Shumate, and were distributed at the event. Awardees will receive copies by postal mail. Remaining copies are available for $5 each. Request via e-mail Paws & Effect Executive Director Nicole Shumate: nicoleshumate@paws-effect.org

Writing Contest Seeks Haiku About Human-Animal Bonds

Central Iowa non-profit Paws & Effect, in conjunction with publishers Middle West Press LLC, is conducting a Second Annual writing and art contest celebrating bonds among humans and animals. Winners and finalists will be selected in youth (up to age 16) and adult categories. Deadline is Sat., Jan. 9, 2016. There is no entry fee.

Finalists will be recognized with a special print publication of their work, which will be presented at Paws & Effect’s annual “One Heart, Four Paws” Valentine’s Day reception.

“We chose the haiku because of the form’s familiarity and accessibility, whether you’re a grade-schooler or graduate student,” says Middle West Press editor Randy Brown. “We also want people to focus on moments, interactions with animals in the home, in nature, and at work.”

Established in 2006 and based in Des Moines, 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 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.

“Through our training and just-for-fun activities, community outreach projects, book club meetings, and even writing and art contests, we are always looking for ways to engage each other in conversations—about how we relate to animals, and how we relate to each other in society,
says Paws & Effect Executive Director Nicole Shumate.”

Only one submission per entrant. Send up to five (5) haiku in a single word-processing file via Submittable, or by postal mail to:

Paws & Effect haiku contest
c/o Middle West Press
P.O. Box 31099
Johnston, Iowa 50131-9428

All hardcopy entries become the property of Paws & Effect and will not be returned.

Entrants aged 15 and younger may choose to submit short poetry that varies from the haiku form, and/or visual artwork.

For the purposes of the contest, a haiku poem will:

  • Consist of three lines; each respectively comprising 5, 7, and 5 syllables each, for a total of 17.
  • Ideally incorporate a reference to one of the four seasons, or to nature.

Entries will be judged on factors such as: originality, creativity, humor, and adherence to the specified haiku format.

Pet-friendly ‘El Dia de Los Muertos’ 12-3 p.m., Sat., Oct. 24

A pet-friendly celebration of El Dia de Los Muertos (“The Day of the Dead”) will be hosted by Central Iowa non-profit Paws & Effect at Living History Farms, 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale, Iowa, from 12 noon to 3 p.m., Sat., Oct. 24.

El Dia de Las Meurtos is a traditional holiday that originates in Mexico, during which family and friends gather to remember and celebrate their ancestors and other loved ones. It is usually observed close to Halloween.

“We share our lives with pets and people,” says Nicole Shumate, executive director of Paws & Effect.  “Paws & Effect wants to create an opportunity to join together as a community, remembering and cherishing all those whose lives have touched ours.”

A procession and blessing of the animals will take place at 1:30 p.m. A photographer will be on hand to take “family” photos for a free-will donation. Costumes are encouraged!

Live music will be provided. Food, beer, T-shirts, and other wares will be available for sale during the event. Cost for the event is $15, which includes one beer ticket and one pint glass.

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 storefrontalso serves as a training center, as well as home base to Troop 232 of the Dog Scouts of America.

Pet-friendly ‘El Dia de Los Muertos’ 12-3 p.m., Sat., Oct. 24

A pet-friendly celebration of El Dia de Los Muertos (“The Day of the Dead”) will be hosted by Central Iowa non-profit Paws & Effect at Living History Farms, 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale, Iowa, from 12 noon to 3 p.m., Sat., Oct. 24.

El Dia de Las Meurtos is a traditional holiday that originates in Mexico, during which family and friends gather to remember and celebrate their ancestors and other loved ones. It is usually observed close to Halloween.

“We share our lives with pets and people,” says Nicole Shumate, executive director of Paws & Effect.  “Paws & Effect wants to create an opportunity to join together as a community, remembering and cherishing all those whose lives have touched ours.”

A procession and blessing of the animals will take place at 1:30 p.m. A photographer will be on hand to take “family” photos for a free-will donation. Costumes are encouraged!

Live music will be provided. Food, beer, T-shirts, and other wares will be available for sale during the event. Cost for the event is $15, which includes one beer ticket and one pint glass.

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.

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.”

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.

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:

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