Service Dogs For Disabled Children
Capital Campaign - Realizing Hope
As we move through 2009, we have our work cut out for us, but we know that to continue to meet the needs of our families is an endeavor in which we must succeed. It is imperative for the future of 4 Paws that we expand our facility and our staff.
To continue with what we have in place now we will have to schedule classes two years or more out and operate on a waiting list. Our families can't wait for their dogs, they need them now. Every year in the U.S. children with autism wander from their homes and die because they have no understanding of danger.
Can you imagine being the one to take this call: "You can take us off your waiting list. Last night Johnny wandered from home and drowned in a nearby lake." Our families need their dogs as quickly as we can provide them. At this time the process takes 12-18 months, which is too long to wait.
We placed 52 dogs in 2006, 70 in 2007, and 93 in 2008. We've never turned anyone away who we had the ability to help. The challenge: our scheduled classes are getting further and further away. Every class in 2009 is filled; we've begun scheduling them for 2010.
Training quality dogs takes time, and this is a time delay that cannot be avoided. Each dog is specifically trained for the tasks they provide to their specific child. Any amount of time after this is waiting time; we can’t produce the numbers of dogs needed with the size of our facility and training staff. We are all about quality and will not give that up to increase our numbers.
Read more about the 4 Paws for Ability Capital Campaign in our 2009 Newsletter in PDF.
With these thoughts in mind we begin our capital campaign. This is a campaign of hope. Hope for every child who comes to us needing a dog that we can get one to them as quickly as possible. Hope that no child goes without if we have it within our means to train a dog that can help them. It is the hope and dream that 4 Paws was founded on that keeps us working each day.
It is a hope that can be seen in the eyes of each child at graduation as they stand beside their dogs ready to begin their life as a team. It is the relief that can be seen in their families’ eyes. It is stories like the one to follow that solidify the need and secure in our minds the fact that we can make this happen. It is not a choice, it is a necessity.
As you can see; this is not a campaign to improve a museum, or build a playground or gym at the local YMCA. Though all of these are worthy causes, at the end of our campaign there is hope that the lives of innocent children may be saved.