Paws With A Cause® enhances the independence and quality of life for people with disabilities nationally through custom-trained Assistance Dogs. PAWS® increases awareness of the rights and roles of Assistance Dog Teams through education and advocacy.
In 1979, Michael D. Sapp Sr. and Antoinette (Candye) Sapp founded Paws With A Cause, initially named Ears for the Deaf®. PAWS began when Mike agreed to help a friend. Marty Jansen and his wife, Dianne, are both deaf and had just adopted a young deaf child. Their hope was that Mike could train their Cairn Terrier CRYSTAL to alert them to important sounds such as their baby crying. Mike agreed and soon other deaf and hard of hearing people approached Mike and asked if they could have dogs trained as well.
Through the years PAWS has added additional Assistance Dog programs. PAWS now trains Service Dogs for people with physical disabilities, Seizure Response Dogs for people who have epilepsy, Hearing Dogs for people who are deaf or hard of hearing and Service Dogs for Children with Autism.
What started out as Mike and Candye helping a friend has grown into a national organization that has impacted the lives of thousands of people. Because of Mike and Candye’s vision and hard work, PAWS enhances the independence and quality of life for people with disabilities across the country through custom-trained PAWS Assistance Dogs.