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Paws With A Cause





Our Mission

Paws With A Cause® enhances the independence and quality of life for people with disabilities nationally through custom-trained Assistance Dogs. PAWS® increases awareness of the rights and roles of Assistance Dog Teams through education and advocacy.


  • Currently 40 % of applicants request a PAWS Seizure Response Dog.
  • PAWS’ specially designed temperament test identifies if a dog is most suitable to be a Service, Hearing, Seizure Response or Service Dog for Children with Autism.


PAWS History

PAWS provides services in 30 states and has placed more than 2,500 Assistance Dogs throughout the country. There are more than 180 volunteer Foster Puppy Raisers and hundreds of people volunteering for PAWS as either breeding host families, community presenters or volunteers at special events.




What We Do


PAWS trains several types of Assistance Dogs:


Service Dogs

PAWS has trained Service Dogs to assist people who have Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Rheumatoidal Degeneration, ALS, Cerebral Palsy, spinal cord injuries and many other conditions affecting a person’s mobility or strength.


In addition to performing tasks related to a physical disability, a PAWS Dog can also be trained to assist with tasks related to a seizure disorder or hearing loss.


Hearing Dogs

PAWS Hearing Dogs are custom-trained to assist people who are deaf or hard of hearing by physically alerting their partner to common sounds such as a smoke alarm, doorbell, alarm clock, telephone ring or child’s cry. A Hearing Dog nudges or paws its partner alerting them to a sound and then leads them to its source. Hearing Dogs can also be taught to respond to American Sign Language for people who are non-verbal.


In addition to performing tasks related to a hearing loss, a PAWS Dog can also be trained to assist with tasks related to a seizure disorder or physical disability.


Seizure Response Dogs

PAWS Seizure Response Dogs are custom-trained to assist people who have epilepsy or other seizure disorders with tasks such as activating a life-alert system, finding someone to help, retrieving a phone or stimulating a person during a seizure. As a person recovers from a seizure, a PAWS Dog can retrieve medications or food, act as a brace to help them up and provide comfort. 


PAWS Seizure Response Dogs are NOT trained to protect or predict seizure activity. However, after several years with a client, some may develop the ability to alert their owner of an oncoming seizure. This behavior is not guaranteed to develop, nor to be consistent if it does develop.


In addition to performing tasks related to a seizure disorder, a PAWS Dog can also be trained to assist with tasks related to a physical disability or hearing loss.


Service Dogs for Children with Autism

Service Dogs for Children with Autism act as constant companions to children with autism to help them improve social interactions and relationships, expand verbal and nonverbal communication, teach life skills, increase interest in activities and decrease stress within the family. A PAWS Dog doesn’t pass judgment, but breaks into the world of autism and becomes a crucial part of the family’s life.


Paws Prison Partners

With more than 200 people with disabilities waiting for a PAWS Assistance Dog, we have a huge need to raise and train more puppies. This means we need even more Foster Puppy Raisers. Now we can come closer to meeting that need with Prisoners Fostering Puppies, an exciting partnership PAWS has with area prisons.



At Paws With A Cause, we believe in educating people about the rights and roles of Assistance Dog Teams. It’s important to know and we want you to feel empowered to share this information with others.


Access Rights:

For information about access rights related to: 

Americans with Disabilities Act 

Fair Housing



Helpful Links



Assistance Dogs in the Workplace
Workplace Accommodation (Title I) 

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Public Access

Public Accommodation Under ADA 

Public Access (Title II and Title III)  

Common Questions about Assistance Dogs in Public 



Etiquette for Assistance Dogs in Public
Etiquette for Clients in Public

How to Speak About Someone with a Disability 


Assistance Dogs International

Assistance Dog FAQ, Standards and Ethics


I Want A Dog - What to Expect - The Application Process

Thinking of applying for a PAWS Assistance Dog, but unsure of what to expect? Let us walk you through the process.


Request An Application

Once applicants have read the Application Process and Frequently Asked Questions, they complete a form to request an application. By learning about an applicant’s goals with an Assistance Dog, disability and location, PAWS can determine if they meet the program’s initial guidelines. Qualifying applicants will be mailed an application to complete and non-qualifying applicants will be notified in 10-14 business days.


PAWS Online Store





Contact Us


National Headquarters

Address: 4646 South Division, Wayland, MI 49348

Phone: 800-253-7297        Fax: 616-877-0248

Hours: 8 am – 4:30 pm (EST), Monday through Friday


Southeastern Regional MIchigan Office

Address: 1328 Wheaton, Troy, MI 48083
Phone: 248-619-9201      Fax: 248-619-9204

Hours: By appointment


Find us on FACEBOOK




The last Wednesday of April is always International Guide Dogs Day. So for 2018 it will be April 25.


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