Just a few minutes away from Narcoossee Road lies a little slice of magic, and I don’t mean Disney World. Down a little tree-lined road is a quiet, serene five-acre ranch that is home to over a dozen highly trained and extremely well-behaved dogs on their way to providing a lifetime of service and emotional assistance to veterans and individuals with various disabilities. Founded in 2008, Pawsitive Action Foundation (PAF) was created with an original mission of rescuing and fostering abandoned dogs in need of a home. Since 2012, their mission has evolved with Executive Director Norma Ross, Operations Manager Greg Troxell, and their tireless band of volunteers breeding, raising, training, and placing assistance dogs with their client-members. The magic is the passion, pure commitment, and palpable love that the volunteers have for the dogs. Their mission is to serve and help our heroes and those in need, and to provide ongoing post-placement support.
“Dogs are my love, and I want to share that. We are changing lives one dog at a time,” said Cindy Braak, a longtime volunteer/Board Member and Disney employee. Ms. Braak embodies the enthusiasm that is evident when speaking with any of the volunteers. Averaging 2,500 to 3,000 hours of volunteer time a year, Ms. Braak has raised three puppies, independently fund raises, and makes training toys in her spare time.
With a 90% successful dog placement record, Pawsitive Action has paired 24 service dogs with loving members at no cost to the member. Service dogs are literally a rare breed. Unlike the average house pet, service dogs must possess specific traits necessary to perform their daily assistance duties. In addition to a calm and even temperament, these dogs must also be able to execute commands in specific sequences and autonomously.
To ensure that that they are producing the best possible assistance dogs, Pawsitive Action breeds their own dogs, then provides 16 months of intense training followed with post-placement support. The $20,000 cost to provide a high quality service dog is completely borne by volunteer time, donations, fund-raisers, and limited local business support. When asked whether the challenge to fund and maintain this not-for-profit organization has become too overwhelming, heads shake in disagreement and tears fall. “My passion is to help veterans and my goal is to help those who have served our country,” said Jan Carter, Air Force veteran and seven-year volunteer. “Anyone can help walk a dog, hug a dog, make some toys or just talk about us and what we do.” The definition of magic is having the power to make impossible things happen. At Pawsitive Action, magic is not a Disney dream, it’s in their DNA.
Volunteering comes in all forms.
Do you love dogs and can commit spare time? Then consider spending your Saturday mornings with some quality time training a service puppy or be a puppy raiser and bring a bundle of love home. Allergic to dogs? Not a problem. PAF is always looking for volunteers to make training toys, assist with fund-raising events, and help with administrative duties. Ever have gift cards with $1 or very little left on them? Don’t throw it away – donate it! Have a gift for gab and have a strong network? Be a PAF Ambassador and bring awareness to your community and friends about this wonderful organization. At PAF, every little bit helps.
You can help Pawsitive Action meet 2016 goals
- Raise $120K to fully fund remaining service puppies in training
- Identify local company sponsor for dog-food costs
- Build PAF Ambassador program to 200 ambassadors (open to all 13 years and older)
Learn more at www.pawsitiveaction.org.
Contact Greg Troxell, (407) 917-4729 or firstname.lastname@example.org