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Valerie Aldred

Mozart came to us from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Animal Shelter in 2005. It has been & continues to be a wonderful ride with my Heart Dog full of challenges & triumphs. When he first came to live with us he was very destructive & had no direction. He presented challenges that I thought I would never overcome & we didn’t get off to the best start. After a few months of this & at my wits end I made 2 discoveries – his need of a crate & DogHaven Dogs. Through the help & encouragement of Deborah & Karl Knowles I was able to help him reach his full potential & become a dog that everyone falls in love with. Through our continued hard work as a team he has become a Champion Agility & Rally Obedience Dog. He has opened the door to the wonderful world of Dog Sports & the community of people I have come to love. With all he has done for & given to me I began to look for ways to re-pay him & came to reliaze that the next perfect step for him was to become a Therapy Dog. Thus we became certified with Paws 4 People as a social therapy team. We’ve begun our therapy career & it is opening whole new doors for us. It is such a pleasure to see the joy with which he goes on these visits.

Angie Allen

Director, Major Fundraising Events Policies & Procedures
Director, Wilmington Chapter

Proud mom of KNOX, a p4p dog who has blessed our family with much love and many laughs.

Sharon Antoszyk

Director, Chapters Policies & Procedures
I am a physical therapist working with children with disabilities in a public school system. NIKKI was trained at Hazelton USP and she and I became a team in July 2008. NIKKI works with me at school to help the children acquire functional skills that allow them to access their education. We work with a team of dedicated teachers, PT's, OT's and assistive technology specialists to plan activities in the classrooms. NIKKI and I also volunteer at a local hospital visiting the patients. NIKKI has touched many lives over the years. She often brings much joy to very difficult situations.

Lynne Blackburn

When I moved to Virginia over six years ago I knew that I wanted to continue being a therapy team with my dogs and volunteering in the schools. Sharing my dogs with children is one of the best volunteer opportunities I have ever experienced, It is very rewarding for the children, my dogs, and myself.

Walter Britton


Lori Caslin

Maya was part of the first litter of puppies bred as therapy dogs for paws4people. She was the purple puppy! She started visiting Round Hill Elementary when she was 4 months old, and began visiting for Hospice at 8 months old. She was the first therapy dog in the Blue Ridge Hospice program. While she no longer visits in schools, she continues to bring joy to those she visits for Hospice, and continues to share her sweet smile and gently personality with all she meets.

Jackie Curran

Hobbes and I are an Educational Assistance Team. We volunteer at an elementary school. We also do social therapy at a radiation center. We have been with Paws4People for over 3 years. It is a very rewarding experience.

Kayse Day


Sandi Dettra

As a substance abuse therapist working with adolescents and young adults, Phin has been essential in reaching hard to reach teenagers. His inate compassion for people struggling with difficult emotions is amazing and wonderful for the client, and helpful to me as the therapist. His balance of compassion and silliness is beneficial to reaching a variety of different psychiatric disorders, and providing comfort. Phin has been working as a Service Dog for his whole life. He has been trained through the Paww4Prison's training, and loves going to work! We work together at Graydon Counseling Group in Leesburg Virginia.

Pam Donnalley

HENRY and I have been volunteering for about 5 years and we love what we do. We visit Noble Middle School and read weekly with reading delayed students and go the our local hospital to visit cancer patients. Plus, there is a waiting list for us to come to area elementary schools. Henry is very popular and loves giving therapy and lots of hugs. If we miss visiting, Henry will bring me his vest to let me know he wants to go visiting. Henry and I love what we do.

Briana Dowd

I have been volunteering with paws4people for about two and a half years now. I first got involved by helping out with recertification day. My Golden Retriever SADIE is currently in training for both Social Therapy and Educational Assistance. My favorite thing is to take SADIE to special education classrooms.

Mary Ellen Duffy

Willow,my 5 year old yellow Lab and I volunteer at Blue Rige Hospice.We also like to go to the public libraries in Loudoun County and let the kids read to us.Everyone knows when Willow is happy to see you when he wags his tail non-stop! We are also happy to say that Keely, my 2 year old chocolate Lab passed her evaluation and will soon be visiting patients at Blue Ridge Hospice in WInchester,Va.

June Evans

Chase and I have just joined paws 4 is my hope for us to visit the veterans hospital.

Ken Finch

We are a new social therapy team just starting out on our journey

Rosemary Finch


Debbie Fox

I have had the privilege to be a Certified Handler with P4P since 2008. My 2 dogs, IZZY & CLEO are Certified Educational/Rehabilitative Assistance and R.E.A.D. Dogs. Over the years, we have volunteeered in several Elementary and Middle schools asssiting Teachers/Principals with students who are mentally challenged or have behavioral issues. We also participate in the Paws4Reading Program at the Public Library. In addition, we volunteeered at a secure residential facility for juveniles with Behavioral issues. Presently, our focus is on sensory therapy,and improving gross/fine motor skills of profound disabled middle school children. IZZY, CLEO and I truly enjoy being another resource for teachers to help children reach their I.E.P. goals.

Lisa Fredrich

Virginia Volunteer and 'acting' Chapter Leader- primarily visiting elementary schools - k-3 special ed class, and monthly library reading

Caroline Fuhrman

In 2005 I found paws4people through a colleague in grad school and at work, the Palm family. It was perfect timing, I had recently moved here from Oregon and my dog had unexpectedly died. Terry Henry found Baileynfor me and she was socialized at Starbucks , daily, from the age of 7 weeks. We started training right away and she began in schools at 4 months. Over 37 years in education I have been a k-12 special education teacher, principal and counselor, I knew that dogs and students would be a great match! Bailey and I visited schools weekly for 2 years and then I went back to work full time as a high school counselor in Loudoun County. The principal had had experience withn dog therapy and welcomed Bailey. Bailey and I have worked at Freedom hs for about 6 years. Our philosophy as counselors is that we help students be ready to learn, Baileynis a part of our team. She is anything thatnsomeone wants her to be; cuddley, funny, energetic, etc. Students smile when they see her early in the morning as she greets hundreds of them each morning in the main hallway, she participates in social skills groups, listens to distressed, anxious and angry students and parents.Students, particularly those who have anxiety, may take a break from class to see Bailey. She also helps new students transition . The adults in the building also find reasons to visit her! We also try to visit the library for the children to read to her. I get to do a job about which I'm passionate and I get to take my dog to work with me! I am also an adjunct professor at Shenandoah University, Bailey goes to class with me!

Stefanie Gerhand

My name is Stefanie and my dog is Hobbes. He is a 4 year old yellow lab. We have been involved with p4p for 3 years. I am a Preschool Special Education teacher by trade. Hobbes and I enjoying working with the Adapted Parks and Rec program during the summer. We love working with the little guys. Hobbes loves playing ball and doing tricks with the kids. Hobbes is also Pet Partners certified. We are working with the Animal's House to develop a program called Friends with Fido. Our goal is to work with children with special needs to help them develop dog safety skills, communication skills, and social/emotional skills.

Eileen Ginty

I am a handler with my yellow labrador retriever, Jack. He is an educational therapy and READ dog.

Sheila Grey

My first working experience with P4P began about 5 years ago with my Standard Schnauzer, Slate Rock. Slate was a rescued dog that came to us with many problems. It was nothing less than a miracle that he overcame his fear of people to become therapy for them. We lost Slate 3 years ago to cancer. Now, I have two wonderful and funny Standards, Skye & Greycie. They have just started their therapy work as their visits began in early July.

Edith Heins

Magie and I have been a Social Therapy team for two years. We have visited schools, libraries, hospitals, nursering homes, Hospice units,Adult day care centers. We have helped support P4P in fund raisers. Maggie has become a dog that people are drawn to by her sweet disposition, always ready to give a kiss and tail wag to any stranger she meets. She loves children and adults equally.

Sue Ireland

When p4p first started in Concord,NC I began also. After awhile Liberty was put with a family when she came out of the prison training. That situation did not work out for the family and Liberty. P4P needed a temporary place to put her so I volunteered. She was trained to be a therapy dog and therefore I took her to Hospice for a year and half once a week. Liberty suddenly did not want to go and would not get out of the car. I decided to give her a rest. However, it has been a lengthy rest as I developed my own health issues. With help from Karen Owens we found a lady that could share taking care of Liberty but would allow me to have her every week. I then continued with Hospice for a while going every week.

Elaine Johnson

I have been with paws4people for 7 years, first as a volunteer with Molly the Chocolate Labrador, and over the last 5 years I have worked full time as an Animal Assisted Interventionist in Mental Health Residential Facilities with my K9 Service Dog partners, Molly and Willson. Currently I am employed by Grafton Integrated Health nNetwork. My two Service dogs are certified by paws4people we provide clients experiential learning so that they learn about themselves and learn to problem solve.Molly and Willson provide unconditional love, fun and laughter and play,and they teach self control, improved confidence, self worth, and self esteem and provide relaxation amongst many more benefits.

Lindsey Johnson

I am physical therapist working with children with disabilities in the public school system. SPARKY and I work with occupational therapists, assistive technology specialists, and teachers to plan activities in the classrooms. SPARKY and I also work together during physical therapy sessions on a variety of activities.

JJ Jones

I sought out paws4people because I saw a group of students who needed extra support and motivation that wasn’t readily available to them. I was looking for a way to link middle school and elementary students indirectly. My goal was to combine an Education Assistance Dog and technology to bring students together and motivate them to read and write. In addition to working with this group of students, I was interested in having the dog work with special needs children. Enter paws4people. Since I have a dog that loves to work, I approached paws4people about certifying my dog and joining the organization. It has been an exciting and rewarding experience. In the time that my dog has been working, the requests for her services have grown to the point that I have had to temporarily set aside my original plan and work exclusively with our special needs students. Though these students are on the middle school level, many still enjoy reading to my dog and have visited with her for several years. Other students need her company as a reward to stay focused in class. All of her “friends,” as we call them, feel a special bond with my dog and feel she is an integral part of their learning.

Michele Kasen

Kodiak "Kodi" has been with p4p for about a year. He loves working with disabled kids and adults, esp at summer camps and ECHO. He enjoys going to the Loudoun County Juvenile Detention Center and the Loudoun County Youth Shelter to help at risk youth.

Nancy Kiger

I am a physical therapist with Cabarrus County Schools and CAROLINE helps me in my work with disabled children. We visit children in self-contained classrooms where CAROLINE helps them work on new skills and provides motivation for challenging activities. She also works with children in regular education providing motivation to help them attain more independent mobility either with walking or with a wheelchair.

Lisa Kimball

VET NOT LISTED IN DOG HEALTH RECORD DROP-DOWN LIST: Stream Valley Veterinary Hospital 42902 Waxpool Road Ashburn, VA 20148 703.723.1017

Mary Lou Kuklentz

My Scottie girls and I are therapy dog visitors. Annabel, MacKenzie and Ellie all visit nursing homes, library, hospitals and other facilities to bring comfort to those folks.

Debra Lake


Angela Leuck

We picked Gemma, our Olde English Bulldogge, out of her litter because she was such a laid back dog. And from Day 1 my husband said he thought she would be a great dog for therapy. Four years later, we are finally making it happen! We became Pet Partner and READ certified the summer of 2013, and began working with P4P soon after. I am truly amazed at the outpouring of support from all the volunteers. We have truly enjoyed our visits this past year, and we look forward to many more in 2014!

Poly Littleton


Luci Loeffler


Aimee McKinney


Sandra Milbert


Kristine Milch

Shea and I have worked with Paws 4 People since 2011. We spend our time volunteering in elementary schools through out Loudoun County.

Laurie Morris

Benny goes to see students at Rolling Ridge Elementary, Sterling Middle and Park View High school. Additionally he goes to AR camp and local libraries. When we adopted Benny in 2011, and started taking him to my mom's nursing home we knew he was made to be a therapy dog. He is a gentle giant who loves everyone! We started with Paws 4 People in 2012.

Sharee Muench

Alfie is a 7 year old Finnish Lapphund. He has his CGC and Rally Excellent Obedience Title. He and I are just starting with the Paws4People Organization. I hope to get him involved in the R.E.A.D program and am also currently examining other areas of social visits where he might make a contribution.

Marti Nottingham


Riki O'Brien

I have been a handler with Paws 4 People Since November 2009, together with my chocolate labrador, TOBI, who is a certified Educational Assistance god (4 years old). we work in special ed and general ed settings at Liberty ES, Lunsford MS, and have supported Little River ES and are READ certified as well.

Allegra Ortiz


Donna Pfendler-Merkle

Dinger and I have been volunteers with Paws4people for over 5 years in various schools and libraries in Loudoun County, VA. RBI joined us 3 years ago. The boys keep me grounded and remind me everyday what is important, home and love. They don't judge, are forgiving and always happy to see you. I love being able to share that with other!

Liz Ptak

DUKE is a social therapy dog. We have been with paws4people for about two years. We visit the senior center, Morningside House, read with the kids at the library and attend various events. He had the opportunity to visit a residential juvenile facility and loved that a lot! He is just a cutie pie.

Candace Reel


Kathy Renton

TIGGER, and Kathy Renton, devoted chauffeur for Mr. Tigger For the past 12 years, Kathy has owned her own advertising company, Lighthouse Concepts. We think TIGGER is around 8 years old. We are his 3rd family and have been blessed by his presence since that magical day in September 2009 when we adopted him -- rather, when he adopted all of us. We were told he was a Katrina dog and the 2nd family adopted him when he was probably around 2 years old. The 2nd owner passed from cancer after loving Tigger for around 4 years.

Margaret Rivera

Sam is a Social Therapy Dog with paws4people. We volunteer at senior centers and group homes in Fairfax County.

Rebecca Rolfsmeyer

BELLA and FOSTER both work in my classroom with special needs children

Joy Scrimshire


Mary Shepherd


Carmelo Spirio

Our Leonbergers:CARUSO,UMA, and MAESTRO are social therapy dogs working in Leesburg and Purceville at two adult day centers, a hospital rehab center, and a retirement home. We also participate in the library program and at the summer adaptive rec program.

Lisa Swiger

CAYLIE belongs to my son Jack and while he is in school, I take her to work in Cabarrus County Schools. We currently serve five classrooms with children on the autism spectrum.

Lisa Swiger

Director, Client Advocate paws4people & paws4FirstResponders
Lisa is the Client Advocate for the civilian side of the paws4people foundation. Most of her clients are children with physical or neurological disabilities. She also serves a few adult clients. Lisa and her husband have two adult sons who are married and also adopted a child with a Traumatic Brain Injury resulting from Shaken Baby Syndrome. Her son Jack is a client of paws4people and has had his dog CAYLIE for four years. Lisa has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from The Ohio State University and continuing education courses in Architecture and Child Development. Her work experiences include property management for an architecture firm, nursing assistance and direction of an elementary school daycare program for Cabarrus County Schools in North Carolina. In her role as Client Advocate, Lisa also serves on the Board of Directors for the paws4people foundation. As a mother of a child with physical and cognitive deficits, Lisa feels a special connection with her clients and understands their unique challenges. She sees the paws4people foundation as a safe and nurturing place for service dog clients. Lisa is a Certified Handler and is currently working to become an Evaluator for Public Access Testing.

Lisa Taylor

My Golden Retriever, DAKOTA, is a certified Educational Assistance Dog. We visit schools, libraries and nursing homes.

Mary Thorton

My chocolate lab Sevie is a born therapist. She is a gentle and sweet dog, and has such a happy demeanor. I did not even know about pet therapy until a few people recommended it to me based on her personality. I like to think that she is fulfilling her purpose.

Neal Turner

58 yo Retired Paramedic Crew Chief, CPTSD onset 2006. Piper is the best thing that could have happen me. He continues to help me, in all ways, it's like having someone covering me all the time. Paws4People is the best thing that could happen to me.

Neely Willett

I joined paws4people in December 2005 because of its association with Blue Ridge Hospice. I was interested in doing pet visits at hospice with my Golden Retriever, Luna. We visited Blue Ridge from December 2005 to August 2007. Since March 2007 we have been visiting Capital Caring Hospice in Arlington, VA, and since November 2009, we visit Sylvestry (an Alzheimer's facility) located in McLean, VA. Luna brings much joy to those she visits. At Alzheimer's she will lean into people and stay in the same spot for as long as 20 minutes while a resident gently rubs her back. Luna loves and demands petting. She is a very sweet, loving companion.

Caroline Williams

Volunteer with MOCHA at Falcon's Landing in Cascades, Va.

Val Wood

I accompany my social therapy dog, Java, to the Paws4People library reading program as often as we can attend.

Susan Zimmerman

I have been a volunteer with P4P for six years, visiting schools with my Golden Retriever Annie. We specialize in helping kids who have trouble reading.

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