DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — 4 Paws for Ability has launched its “Give so They Can Grow” campaign for Giving Tuesday to help cover the cost of raising and training service dogs for children and veterans with disabilities.
“We do seizure alert. We do diabetic alert, mobility assistance, hearing, veterans assistance,” describes Kalynn Clark, the development director.
The nonprofit’s goal for Giving Tuesday is $32,000.
“These little cuties are very expensive to raise and train. It’s actually about $40,000 that is poured into each one of our service dogs,” states Clark.
It takes about two years to train and place a service dog.
“We start training when they are 4 days old. So super, super tiny, but so important to their training. So all of their dog food, dog treats, all of their little equipment–their little service dog vests, leash, easy walks, all of their vet care–that’s really expensive. They’re always spayed or neutered, up to date on vaccines, monthly preventatives. So by the time you are done, it adds up very quickly,” lists Clark.
While families are expected to come up with half of the total, 4 Paws for Ability takes care of the rest. They’re hoping Tuesday’s campaign will help offset some of the cost.
“We have very high standards for who we allow to become a service dog. Not all of our dogs do make the cut,” says Clark. “But the dogs who do make it as service dogs, they are super confident. They are very focused on their job. They know their job well.”