Paws & 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).
"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")
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