About paws4people TM
About the Program:
paws4people TM foundation was founded by Kyria Henry in 1999 (then 12 years old!) with the purpose of using dogs as a means of helping people.
This nonprofit’s mission is to enhance the lives of disabled and special education students, senior citizens, and those living with serious illnesses or disabilities by utilizing the positive effects of canine companionship.
We currently have more than 200 highly trained Assistance Dogs to provide support in areas such as mobility and psychiatric service, educational and rehabilitative assistance, and social therapy.
Together, these dogs have made more than 300,000 therapeutic contacts.
Presently, we specialize in training customized Assistance Dogs for two general groups: children and adolescents with physical, neurological, psychiatric, or emotional disabilities; and Veterans and active-duty Service Members with Chronic/Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) and/or Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI).
paws4people TM foundation has more than 200 volunteers and operates in 16 states.
Although most people today are aware of the benefits of service dogs for the blind or the mobility-impaired, there are many newer and unique applications with which people are still unfamiliar.
At paws4people TM foundation, our philosophy is that children and adolescents with disabilities can and should be considered clients and be taught how to utilize an Assistance Dog to mitigate the effects of their disability. In these instances, proper training and employment of an Assistance Dog may allow a disabled child to independently perform tasks that are standard for his or her peers. Over time, this negates the necessity of over-dependence on adults and aids, thus allowing the child to grow and mature. We believe this is the very essence of independence and one of the most important roles of an Assistance Dog.
In addition to the paws4people TM program, our paws4vetsTM program specializes in placing Psychiatric Service Dogs with Veterans and Active-Duty Service Members who suffer from psychiatric or emotional complications as a result of PTSD and/or TBI.
Many recipients have “invisible disabilities” so that their use of an Assistance Dog and access to public venues is questioned more readily than a handler whose disability is visible. Therefore, we feel it is important for people to recognize and understand that these dogs, when employed correctly and within the confines of the law, are providing invaluable services to their users by assisting them in their recovery and return to their previous lifestyles. This is yet another example of priceless, well-deserved independence.
About the Founder:
Kyria Henry has been passionate about helping others since she was young. Her dream of using the love and loyalty of a dog to reach people was first realized while visiting her grandparents with her own dog Riley when she was in elementary school. After seeing the positive impact Riley had on her grandparents, Kyria began regular visits to senior citizens living in nursing homes. At the age of 12, Kyria established the paws4people charity with the help of a family friend. Now at 24 years old, she continues to build her dream and her charity.
Kyria invites you to become a part of paws4peopleTM by joining the email list by adding your name here.
In addition to some amazing dog slideshows, you will learn how Kyria and her canine friends are helping people in so many ways and in so many different situations.
We want to inspire you, to tell you about the incredible things that are happening through paws4peopleTM and its associated organizations. We want to show you how paws4peopleTM could help your loved ones.
We want you to believe with us, that we can make a difference, because it is something truly exciting and powerful.