PAALS – Palmetto Animal Assisted Living Services – is a 501(c)3 charitable organization that trains and provides service dogs to individuals with varying abilities. It includes children and adults with physical and social challenges. While it focuses on individuals in South Carolina, it also extends services to individuals in other, nearby states, as resources permit.
It is a young organization, and has provisional membership in Assistance Dogs International (ADI).
“Assistance Dogs International, Inc. is a coalition of not for profit organizations that train and place Assistance Dogs. The purpose of ADI is to improve the areas of training, placement, and utilization of Assistance Dogs as well as staff and volunteer education. Members of ADI meet annually to share ideas, attend seminars, and conduct business regarding such things as educating the public about Assistance Dogs, and the legal rights of people with disabilities partnered with Assistance Dogs, setting standards and establishing guidelines and ethics for the training of these dogs, and improving the utilization and bonding of each team.”
ADI also sets guidelines and standards for assistance dogs and their partners. They have developed a public access test and standard testing for both assistance dogs and the partners of assistance dogs. These are tough tests for the dogs and for the partners. Examples of these tests are on the ADI website.
PAALS derives all its support from voluntary contributions from individuals and corporations. They accept donations through check, all major credit cards and PayPal. They have a list of specific needs if you wish to provide items.
As I must meet a certain amount of sponsorship in order to receive my dog, please put my name (Elizabeth Riggs) on your check or somewhere on your credit card or PayPal invoice. You will still get your tax deduction, the organization will still get the donation, and I’ll get some credits toward my assistance dog!