YORK COUNTY, Pa. — '4 Paws 4 a Cause,' helps people in need, train their own service dog for free. But the non-profit has become so popular, it's now in need of a larger space in York County.
"We started a little over two years ago, with three dogs and by the end of September, we'll be close to 100," said Board Secretary, Joelene Thiele.
Trainers volunteer their time, expertise and offer classes a few times a week, in the Fellowship Hall of Gateway Church.
"We have a lot of anxiety, PTSD, panic .. people who couldn't leave their house until they got their dog trained and now, they can live a normal life," explained Thiele.
The non-profit says any breed of dog can be trained to become a service dog, though some take a little longer than others.
Joseph Rodriquez and his service dog, Diesel, are one of many pairs benefiting from 4 Paws 4 A Cause.
"Diesel came along and I just realized how much easier it was to go someplace with Diesel than to not go someplace at all," said Rodriquez. "I kind of started suffering with social anxiety a little bit."
This program and his bond with Diesel have helped him immensely. So much so, he's now on track to become a trainer, himself.
"To watch the change in people and see how they grow.. is very amazing," said Thiele.
4 Paws 4 a Cause is run based on donations.
And as this non-profit continues to grow, it needs the community to step in and help them find a permanent space.
"A place that's just solely ours so that we can help more people.. because we don't want to start a waitlist, but we may have to.. if something doesn't happen," said Thiele.
If you're interested in making a donation or if you have a space that would accommodate the dogs and training, you can reach out at email@example.com.
You can also apply for the '4 Paws 4 a Cause' program, here.