XENIA, Ohio (WDTN) – 4 Paws for Ability in Xenia is in need of volunteer trainers to help train dogs to become service animals for children and veterans with disabilities.

The process starts as soon as the puppies are born with a breeding program that works on getting puppies used to different sights, sounds, and textures. “Then when they’re about 8 weeks old they’re able to go off into our volunteer trainer homes or into our prison program. So, we also work with a couple different prisons, and our inmates help with the potty training with the basic manners,” said 4 Paws for Ability Service Dog and Training Director Lynn Williams.

Williams said once the dogs are 1 and a half years old, they’re usually ready to become service animals. Just like many other businesses, 4 Paws for Ability felt the wrath of the pandemic, and now they’re asking animal lovers to join their team and help change people’s lives. “We want people who love dogs, who are interested in learning how to go about teaching the dogs what’s appropriate and what’s not while they’re out in public.”

Volunteer trainers are only required to live no more than 3 hours away from the Xenia location, but everything else is taught and paid for regarding the dogs.

Williams is a former volunteer trainer herself and says it’s a job that leaves people feeling great about what they’ve accomplished. “Not only do they change the lives of the handlers they work with until they get to placement, but just to see how much they can change the life of a child and their family as well as a veteran is just incredible.”

To become a volunteer trainer at 4 Paws for Ability, click here.