Helping Paws of Minnesota, Inc.

Partners in Service, Above & Beyond

For nearly 30 years Helping Paws has been a catalyst for changing lives. We breed, train and place incredibly skilled service dogs who help people achieve greater independence, both for those who may have debilitating physical disabilities and veterans with PTSD. Our Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers train for more than 2 years, living in foster homes (never kennels) and learning more than 70 cues for tasks someone may need them to handle each and every day.  

We estimate it costs $30,000 to prepare each dog for his or her lifetime partner.

Three recent graduating partnerships demonstrate how lives can change:

Marine Corps veteran Todd no longer feels the need to patrol his home at all hours of the night because he can watch PTSD service dog Derby for clues to see if something is wrong. Derby enters Todd’s home first, turning on the lights for him. For the first time in memory, Todd can sleep through the night, knowing the Labrador Retriever is by his side.

Air Force veteran Vicky was diagnosed with congenital cervical spinal stenosis. The damage from this disease keeps her confined to a wheelchair and will continue to grow. Service dog Chase performs many tasks for her, helping her preserve her functionality as long as possible. “Chase is calm, relaxed and good natured. I am so appreciative and also comforted to have a resource that I can always rely on.”

Labrador Retriever Hugo has transformed life for two partners, offering devotion to each of them.  He first supported Luke by helping him dress, turning on lights, opening doors and staying focused on Luke through thick and thin. Sadly, Luke died at the end of 2016. A few months later Hugo was matched with Sheila. “He opens doors for us to go outside, no matter the weather. I never would have moved throughout my neighborhood this much if it wasn’t for Hugo … I recently lost my favorite silver ring and Hugo kept digging in the same spot in the grass. After two days I decided there must be a reason, and there was: He found my ring!”

With your donation, you join us as a Partner in Service who goes Above & Beyond. Thank you.

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