Iowa Offenders to Help Raise Future Service Dogs

Paws & Effect Group 2017A group of 13 low-risk inmates serving life sentences at a minimum security facility in Rockwell City will raise, socialize, and care for puppies, so that the dogs can later be trained as service animals via the Des Moines-area non-profit Paws & Effect, Iowa Department of Corrections officials recently announced.

The North Central Correctional Facility houses approximately 500 offenders. Located in Rockwell City, Iowa, the institution emphasizes individual accountability and responsibility, and offers a variety of education and life skills programs. Programming also includes vocational education opportunities through Iowa Central Community College, and working in the facility’s gardens, which produce more than 30,000 pounds of vegetables annually.

“The North Central Correctional Facility is honored to be given the opportunity to work with Paws & Effect,” says Warden Robert Johnson. “Initial interest was formed by offenders convicted of a life sentence who believe this program will provide a means to give back to the communities by providing service animals specifically aimed at assisting veterans and children. These men host a myriad of skill sets as well as possess a deep history in training service animals. We at the North Central Correctional Facility believe this program also fulfills our mission of ‘Creating Opportunities for Safer Communities,’ as we will be assisting those experiencing specific hurdles in their lives the opportunity to not only feel safe but also thrive in their environment with a beautiful, well-trained therapy/service animal at their side.”

Paws & Effect Executive Director Nicole Shumate says she looks forward to the partnership, particularly as an extension of her organization’s foundation in promoting compassion and care through the human-animal bond.

“It is a privilege to work with offenders, whose efforts include contributing to the community in a healthy, effective, and positive way,” Shumate says. “Too often, we shun criminals whose crimes will keep them incarcerated for the rest of their lives, foregoing opportunities of rehabilitation. In a state that has eliminated the death penalty, we have an obligation to offenders that extends beyond the minimal physical needs of keeping them alive in a contained and restricted environment.”

“The value that offenders will be bringing to Paws & Effect and service dog recipients can not be overstated. With a collective span of decades of service dog training between them, they bring a talent that is difficult to find in any other place. We are honored to stay true to our mission of taking a moment and making a difference.”

Through the partnership, Paws & Effect will supply puppies and trainers with dog food, hard chew and pull toys, starter leashes, and collars, clickers, and treat bags. Puppies will work with participating offenders for approximately 18 months, before graduation, placement, and

Service animals are trained to perform physical tasks to assist a specific individual. Given their socialization and obedience training, animals who do not meet service animal requirements may still be employed and placed as therapy animals, performing jobs and boosting morale in libraries, hospitals, and other facilities.

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

Meet the New Pups: The ‘Shoe’ Litter!

Shoe LitterPaws & Effect, a Des Moines, Iowa-based non-profit organization that raises and trains service dogs for military veterans and others, has announced that a new litter of seven service-dogs-in-training has been identified and named. The puppies will be raised by Iowa volunteers for up to 18 months, then professionally trained by staff, and eventually placed with veterans who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or mobility impairments.

Psychiatric service dogs assist handlers in navigating stressful environments and situations, both at home and in public, by performing physical tasks. Examples of such tasks include creating non-threatening buffer zones between the handler and strangers, and waking a sleeping handler who is experiencing a nightmare. Mobility animals assist handlers in such physical tasks as walking, grabbing objects, and opening doors. In public, service-dogs often wear uniforms to indicate their special purpose, but these are not required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Adidas“Inspired by a fantastic donation of $10,000 from the In My Boots 5K student organization at Des Moines Area Community College’s Boone campus, our latest litter of puppies has been named on a theme of hardworking and fast-running footgear,” says Nicole Shumate, executive director of Paws & Effect.
“These puppies will first be socialized by volunteers, who will carefully monitor their health and development, before starting training as service animals in about 18 months.”

“Paws & Effect provides and places animals with handlers at no charge,” says Shumate. “Because the training and healthcare maintenance each animal can reach up to $25,000 each, we rely heavily on volunteers and community fund-raising efforts to help meet our mission!”

The seven puppies of the “Shoe” litter are:

  • Adidas (“Addy”)
  • Boots
  • Grommet
  • Lacey
  • Puma
  • Sole
  • Velcro

Established in 2006 and based in Des Moines, Iowa, 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 a training center, as well as home base to Troop 232 of the Dog Scouts of America

Dine Out During Our 4th ‘Tables & Tails’ Fund-Raiser!

tables and tails scheduleThe Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is one of the laws that helps ensure people who use service animals can access buildings and businesses in the course of their daily lives. Together with leading Iowa restauranteurs and other Iowa Jaycees, you can help Paws & Effect will celebrate the 27th anniversary of this landmark legislation with its Fourth Annual “Tables & Tales” event!

Throughout July, select Central Iowa restaurants will contribute a 10 percent or more of their proceeds to support training service and mobility animals for military veterans, children, and others.

“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.”

You can participate in “Tables & Tails” by dining at these sponsoring restaurants:

July 6, 2017
4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Jason’s Deli
3910 University Avenue
West Des Moines, IA 50266

July 10, 2017
5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Guru BBQ
300 West Martin Luther King Jr Parkway #170
Des Moines, IA 50312

July 11, 2017
5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Confluence Brewing Company
1235 Thomas Beck Road
Des Moines, IA 50315

July 12, 2017
6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Fong’s Pizza & Tiki Bar
1450 S.W. Vintage Parkway #120
Ankeny, IA 50023

July 14, 2017
5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

American Legion Bar and Grill
1511 South Union Street
Des Moines, IA 50315

July 15, 2017
8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Gilroy’s Kitchen + Pub + Patio
1238 8th Street
West Des Moines, IA 50265

July 17, 2017
5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Panchero’s Mexican Grill
2706 Ingersoll Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312

July 26, 2017
5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Flavory Bistro
1450 S.W. Vintage Parkway #160
Ankeny, IA 50023

Book Club Aug. 6, 2017: ‘Chosen by a Horse’

chosen by a horseThe next Paws & Effect Book Club selection is the 2007 best-selling memoir “Chosen by a Horse” by Susan Richards. The book tells the story of how Richards rescued a retired race horse named Lay Me Down.

According to book jacket copy, “This gentle creature―malnourished, plagued by pneumonia and an eye infection―had endured a rough road, but somehow her heart was still open and generous. It seemed fated that she would come into Susan’s paddock and teach her how to embrace the joys of life despite the dangers of living.”

Says Paws & Effect Executive Director Nicole Shumate: “Too often, we underestimate the power of the human-animal bond, brushing aside relationships that are available to us. We shy away from difficulty, from pain, from commitment and challenge. But there, in the times that seem most unbearable, we find the very things we seek: connection and love. In ‘Chosen by a Horse,’ we are offered the opportunity to follow the journey one woman makes when she accepts the inevitable hardships that come with sharing the pain of another, and to witness the outcomes that are possible.”

In Central Iowa, the book club session will be moderated by Ashley Anderson, KPA-CTP, Paws & Effect’s lead dog trainer.  With more than a decade of experience as an equestrienne, Ashley brings forward an understanding of the ways in which horses and dogs benefit from their relationships with their caretakers—and us from them.  More often than not, Ashley is chosen by a myriad of animals, each being escorted to their next loving home.

AUG. 6, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.
Barnes & Noble
Shoppes At Three Fountains
4550 University Avenue
West Des Moines, IA 50266

If sold out on the shelves, the book may be ordered via the store, or via the Barnes & Noble website here.

******

In Western North Carolina, the book club session will be moderated by Susan Knapp, the founder and executive director of Heart of Horse Sense. Located on 110 acres in Marshall, North Carolina, Heart of Horse Sense is the charitable component of Horse Sense of the Carolinas, an internationally recognized leader in the field of Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning (EAPL). Susan brings a longstanding commitment for experiential learning which fosters life skills and character development. Heart of Horse Sense extends EAPL opportunities to children and veterans at no cost.

DATE & TIME TO BE ANNOUNCED
Horse Sense of the Carolinas, Inc.
6919 Meadows Town Road
Marshall, North Carolina 28753

Paws & Effect to Help Find ‘Dog for Devyn’

Hannah and Devyn

Early family photo shows how Hannah helps Devyn walk.

Central Iowa-based non-profit Paws & Effect has been selected by the family of Devyn Pereira, 9, of suburban Rochester, N.Y., to assist in the selection, training, and validation of a replacement service dog. Devyn was born with Angelman Syndrome, a genetic disorder that results in developmental delays, seizures, and autism. Devyn’s current service dog allows her to walk unassisted by others; protects her from “eloping” or wandering away from the classroom; and alerts her teachers to pending seizures.

Since September 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division has engaged in litigation against the Gates-Chili Central School District, Monroe County, N.Y. for denying Devyn’s right to a service dog at school without hiring a handler other than Devyn herself. In August 2017, the schools’ motion for summary judgement was dismissed, and the case continues in U.S. District Court.

According to court documents, the family has paid more than $25,000 for a dedicated adult dog handler since 2011. The adult handler spends about 15 minutes out of each school day working. Previously, teachers and school staff would tether or untether Devyn from her service dog, as needed. Devyn is attended by a dedicated, one-on-one teacher’s aide, who is a school employee. The dog is trained to not require food, water, or bathroom breaks during the school day.

Nicole Shumate, executive director for Paws & Effect, said the organization will help identify a service dog to help replace Devyn’s current one, a 110-pound Bouvier des Flandres named Hannah. The hypoallergenic breed was selected because of Devyn’s asthma and allergies. The puppy will be identified and trained via the organization’s ongoing training program relationship with Missouri Puppies for Parole.

“We are excited to become part of Devyn’s team! Following Devyn’s journey over several years, watching her blossom into a wonderful young lady, has been inspiring,” says Shumate. “Paws & Effect intends to support the Pereira Family as they continue to navigate through the myriad of challenges in front of them, joining an effort that we feel very strongly about.”

A 2009 graduate of the Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, Shumate herself was involved as plaintiff in a case regarding service dog access that reached the Iowa Supreme Court in 2014. The case of Shumate v. Drake University regarded the rights of a handler-trainer of a service-dog-in-training to access public buildings under state law.

In an announcement made earlier this month via social media, Devyn’s mother Heather said, “When we first researched a service dog for Devyn, we only had a basic idea about the process or even the laws that applied. Now years later, we really appreciate how important it is to work with an agency that is forward thinking when it comes to service dog access and regulation of the industry. In many ways, Devyn has become the face of service dogs in schools, which has given us the opportunity to talk to a lot of different agencies. We have to be picky—Devyn’s first service dog exceeded our expectations and there is some pressure; the next pup has big shoes to fill.”

Fund-raising toward Devyn’s next service dog began with a Feb. 9 event in Rochester, N.Y. The family hopes to raise up to $15,000 toward the cost of acquiring, training, and equipping a replacement for the retiring Hannah.

A “Dog for Devyn” Facebook page is 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. Its Beaverdale neighborhood storefront also serves as a training center, as well as home base to Troop 232 of the Dog Scouts of America

Book Club May 21: ‘The Empathy Exams’

empathy examsThe next Paws & Effect Book Club selection is a collection of non-fiction essays “The Empathy Exams” by Leslie Jamieson. Winner of a Greywolf Press Nonfiction Prize, the collection explores empathy in an age full of media, technology, poverty, and violence. An editorial review of the book states:

Beginning with her experience as a medical actor who was paid to act out symptoms for medical students to diagnose, Leslie Jamison’s visceral and revealing essays ask essential questions about our basic understanding of others: How should we care about each other? How can we feel another’s pain, especially when pain can be assumed, distorted, or performed?

“At its heart, everything that Paws & Effect does—through its volunteers, its service animals, Pet Partners, and other programs—relates to improving how we relate to each other,” says Executive Director Nicole Shumate. “This book is a natural fit for engaging in that conversation.”

The book club discussion will take place starting 6:30 p.m., Sun., May 21, 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.

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

Latest from Facebook

You remembered, right?!?! The Greater Des Moines Volkssporters are hosting a 5K and 10K walk tomorrow at Water Works Park in Des Moines. See you at 9, with tails wagging! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Congratulations to Cadence on the completion of her hiking badge from Dog Scouts of America! This crazy catahoula is also a Pet Partners Partner and avid volkswalker with American Volkssport Association: America's Walking Club, bringing her cheerful, wagging tail with her wherever she travels! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

We're gearing up for Fort to Flag, a Veterans Day event that steps off from Old Fort, NC! This is an opportunity to thank those that have served our country, including the horses and dogs that support our efforts. We have horses joining us from Heart of Horse Sense to represent the cav and dogs from Pet Partners and Dog Scouts of America to represent bomb detection. We hope to have *YOU*, sharing your thoughts and gratitude on cards that can be distributed throughout the remainder of the year to hospitalized Veterans.

Pet-friendly tent and RV camping is located at Curtis Creek Campground in Pisgah National Forest, four miles away from the start point. At $5/night, you can't afford to be anywhere else!

A Awards to the first 100 registered walkers; registration is $3.
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook