Wright State University students help train service dogs that will eventually help children and veterans with disabilities through a unique partnership between 4 Paws WSU and 4 Paws for Ability in Xenia.
4 Paws WSU is a student organization that pairs students with puppies training to become service dogs.
Every semester 4 Paws receives seven to 15 dogs that are 4 to 7 months old. Each dog requires a team of three to fours students. An average of 40 students are involved in the program every semester.
Almost 100 dogs have walked the halls and attended classes with students at Wright State since 4 Paws WSU was founded in October 2011.
4 Paws for Ability fosters and helps socialize future service dogs, preparing them for life as a working companion with a family. Before each dog can graduate from the program, they go through 4 Paws’ specialty assistance program. That training could include autism, mobility, seizure, hearing and PTSD assistance for military veterans.
Brandy Porter drove from Kansas so her son Will could be placed with Reebok. “Will has wandered off from sporting events and to know that we can tether him to Reebok is truly life saving,” Porter said.
“When I went to my very first graduation just to see the joy and how much they are helping the other families that they’re going to is what it’s all worth it,” said Dimitri Furman, a student foster.