The Four Paws and a Wake Up Service Dog Application and Matching Process
Our Service Dog Program
Service Dogs for Veterans who have a permanent service-connected disability for which Veterans Administration has documented related to mobility, service-related post-traumatic stress and/or traumatic brain injury
Service Dogs for individuals with mobility disabilities (limited availability)
Please note that Four Paws and a Wake Up does not train seizure alert dogs, guide dogs for the blind, diabetes alert dogs, dogs for people with Alzheimer's, emotional support, or psychiatric dogs for non-Veterans. Four Paws and a Wake Up does not train dogs that are already owned by individuals. Contact Assistance Dogs International for information about other organizations who may be able to help.
Cost of Obtaining a Service Dog
Many people ask us about the cost of obtaining a Service Dog. Thanks to generous donors and funding from grants, there is no charge for clients who are eligible for our services for receiving a Service Dog. Clients will need to pay for annual dog supplies such as food and veterinary services that can average $1,000-$2,000 a year.
Four Paws and a Wake Up-NC
Mailing: PO Box 12544 Wilmington NC 28405
Tax ID 84-2287904
|Four Paws NC Animal Assisted Therapy
Animal-Assisted Therapy Team Visits and COVID-19 Concerns
Four Paws has always had a strong commitment to the safety of our animal-assisted therapy teams. As the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, we will follow the state guidelines for when services will be provided again.
- SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, is a predominantly human virus. There is currently no evidence that animals are transmitting the virus. However, until more information is available, it is prudent to assume that there is some potential for animals to carry the virus on their hair coat.
- Social distancing combined with good hand hygiene is the best practice for slowing the spread of the virus.
We support all teams and our partner facilities who are choosing to suspend volunteer activity right now as a way to limit risk. Animal-assisted therapy visits will be resumed when it is appropriate to do so. We are working to determine standards of practice when providing services considering this virus.
What is Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT)?
Animal-Assisted Therapy is the interaction of people and domesticated pets in a positive way when a person shares the love and companionship of their pet with someone who is not able to have a pet in their situation.
Animal Assisted Intervention is comprised of two types of visitations: a therapeutic visit, in which a specific goal(s) is established within a treatment plan, which is moderated by a medical professional; or an activity visitation in which the pets sole purpose is to interact with the person to enhance their quality of life.
Animal Assisted Therapy, also known as pet therapy, is a person and their domesticated pet (in this case, dogs), that have successfully completed a certain level of training and assessment to deliver pet mediated services within their community.
About Four Paws Animal Assisted Therapy
Four Paws and a Wake Up-NC provides testing, certification, support, and insurance for members who volunteer with dogs to visit hospitals, special needs centers, schools, nursing homes, and other facilities. We’re a network of caring volunteers who are willing to share our special canines to bring smiles and joy to people, young and old alike.
What Sets Us Apart?
What sets us apart? The Four Paws and a Wake Up-NC team of AAT instructors bring over 50 years of combined experience as trainers and therapy teams. It means that we help with the training that is needed to become a therapy team and it also means that after a team is certified that we have the knowledge and skills to help you navigate visits and support sites. No other animal-assisted therapy provider brings you this level of experience and has delivered animal-assisted therapy in many types of facilities and environments.
AKC Therapy Program
Four Paws Animal Assisted Therapy is an AKC recognized animal-assisted therapy program. The AKC Therapy Dog™ program awards official AKC titles to dogs who have worked to improve the lives of the people they have visited. To learn more, visit AKC Therapy Dog Program.
Become a Four Paws Animal Assisted Therapy Team
Compassionate People Sharing the Love of Their Dogs
Become a member of our team and help bring joy and happiness to people in your community. You will gain hands-on training and educational experience from the most experienced trainers in Carolina's preparing you and your dog to volunteer together in the community. While in training, participants will experience "real-life" situations based on over 20 years of practicing animal-assisted therapy in the field in many environments.
Bring compassion and empathy to others and share the love of your dog within your community. Experience giving to others at a depth you never thought possible. This is a very personal and rewarding experience.
What dog is best for animal-assisted therapy work?
Animal-assisted therapy dogs are at least one year of age, health, and friendly. They are neutral towards other dogs and animals, patient and intuitive to the needs of others. They enjoy people and seek the company of people.