Toad Opener!

Toads and Dogs: An Unlikely Pairing

Toads and dogs aren’t the usual pair, but PAWS has recently partnered with a new startup called Toad Opener™ as a way to create a cleaner and more inclusive workplace!

Toad Opener™ offers a brand new, 3D printed hands-free “foot-door-opener” which allows people to open doors with just their foot- avoiding the need to touch dirty and potentially infectious door handles in bathrooms and entrances/exits. Toad Opener™ generously donated several units to PAWS at both our Royal Oak and Wayland facilities as an effort to keep our campus cleaner. In turn, PAWS is researching ways for the device to be accessible for people with disabilities!

We are so grateful for this partnership and to co-founders Nick Moritz and Clif Wells for this innovation. Our staff already appreciate the ability to use just their foot to open our bathrooms and our trainers and research team are working their tails off to find possible ways to adapt the product in order for an Assistance Dog to be able to use it. You can imagine Nick’s surprise when we first approached him, but he was all-in and had the units installed for us in days!

“From just a simple dog training perspective – it’ll take 6+ months to get some basic ideas of what is possible and not – and even that’ll depend on the dogs.  It’s a slow process to unravel and build up a progression plan to train the dog,” said Tony, Canine Production Manager.

However, Nick and his partner are excited about the rapid growth of their product. “We think that our product is actually saving lives. It doesn’t just fight Covid19, but many other transmittable sicknesses like the flu- not to mention the obvious appeal of not having to touch dirty bathroom handles!”

Toad Opener™ appreciates your support of the PAWS mission of accessibility for all, and in solidarity are offering a 20% discount off their MSRP price of $50 each to those who want to offer convenience, confidence, and assurance to their employees, clients, and guests that comes with easily opening doors, especially in the bathroom, with just their foot!

Contact Nick at: and mention this article for the discount!

Learn more about their product at and watch their Metro Detroit TV Station WXYZ’s story on them here.


Certification Celebration: September 2020

Congratulations to the Assistance Dog Teams that were certified in September!









Dallin and JUNO
Mama Dog HONOR housed by: Gayle Tolsma
Papa Dog JACK housed by: Heather Reurink
Foster Puppy Raiser:  Amanda Learman










Davis and MYRTLE
Mama Dog OLIVE housed by: Crystal Snyder
Papa Dog MAC housed by: Angela Meyer
Foster Puppy Raisers:  Pam Yano and Keith Lipske











Gage and MADDOX
Mama Dog NALA housed by: Deb Grow
Papa Dog OZ housed by: Mike and Judy Versalle
Foster Puppy Raisers: Rachael and Jeffery Vargo










Kaylan and MONROE
Mama Dog NALA housed by: Deb Grow
Papa Dog OZ housed by: Mike and Judy Versalle
Foster Puppy Raisers: Becky and Mark Ehrnstrom











Marian and VINA
Mama Dog SCARLET (Hearing/Service Dog now!) whelped by: Stuart and Ellen Dykstra
Papa Dog CARLOS: Outside Stud
Foster Puppy Raisers: Dean and Lori Weurding

Thank you to all of our PAWS Dog Volunteers and supporters for making these Assistance Dog Teams possible!

Easy DIY Dog Costume


Can’t think of anything cute to dress your furry friend up as this Halloween? How about your favorite 90’s toy? This DIY Beanie Baby Tag is quick, easy and comfortable for your pup to strut while trick or treating! Follow these 5 steps for the perfect pup costume!


Supplies needed:
Fabric Glue/Glue stick
White Felt/Paper
Red Felt/Paper
TY Logo Print out (Having the TY logo printed out makes it super easy to replicate if you’re not the best freehand artist!)


1. Line up the TY logo with whatever material you choose (felt or paper).

2. Start by cutting out the red heart and follow with cutting out the “TY” logo on the white.

*If you’re worried about it flipping over, repeat on the back.

3. Glue your TY logo onto the red heart

4. Once you’ve glued both sides together, simply glue a ribbon onto the heart (almost like a necklace for your dog!)

5. Place carefully around the dog’s neck and enjoy!

This is the perfect costume that won’t make your dog uncomfortable or anxious while celebrating this spooky holiday!