The paws4people Foundation has teamed up with WebSupportTeam.com, a leading technology service, to develop an online database driven application to automate and improve its proprietary dog matching process.
The paws4people Foundation provides a unique service. It breeds and trains dogs to lend a helping hand to humans in need of assistance. The Foundation helps veterans, seniors, disabled people and adolescents get trained service dogs to improve their quality of life. It serves people with life challenges who may benefit from the assistance of a highly trained canine companion.
The foundation was established by Kyria Henry with the idea of using dogs to help people. When she was in elementary school, she was visiting her grandparents with her own dog Riley. Kyria noticed the positive impact Riley had on the seniors. She began to regularly visit senior citizens in nursing homes with Riley.
At the age of 12 in 1999, Kyria established paws4people with the help of a family. Now 25, she continues to build her dream of using the love and loyalty of dogs to help people through her charity organization.
Most people are familiar with service dogs for the blind or the mobility-impaired. But, there are many newer and unique ways in which dogs are used to help people.
Highly trained Assistance Dogs are used to provide support in areas such as mobility assistance, psychiatric service, education and rehabilitative assistance. They are even used in therapeutic applications like social therapy. As of 2011, the paws4people Foundation has placed more than 200 dogs in programs across nine states in the eastern United States.
The Foundation also specializes in training customized Assistance Dogs for children and adolescents with physical, neurological, psychiatric, or emotional disabilities.
Another major group to benefit are Veterans and Active-Duty Service Members with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI).
The Foundation accomplishes its mission through the efforts of a network of over 230 unpaid volunteers and over 200 available trained, certified and insured Assistance Dogs.
A sophisticated and complex process is used to find and place the right dog with the right person based on a variety of criteria like the dog's training, skill and temperament on one side and the specific needs of the person on the other side.
As the organization continues to grow and the number of people it serves continues to increase, the foundation decided to build an online database driven application to improve and automate this complex process.
It turned to WebSupportTeam.com to design and build this unique online system which will have at its core, a database of dogs as they progress through their training and get placed.
People in need of Assistance Dogs will be able to apply online. The system will help organize the process of finding the right dog for that person. The foundation will use the new system to review the selection, help match dogs with clients, and then track its progress.
"The paws4people Foundation provides a very noble service to help people in a uniquely caring way. We are proud and excited to be part of that mission in our own small way as we develop this online system. It will streamline and improve the process of matching the right assistance dog to the right person. We are confident that the new system will help the foundation carry out its mission more efficiently as it reaches out to help more and more people through its programs ", says Jay Vikaz, CEO of WebSupportTeam.com
The stated mission of the paws4people foundation is to "enhance the lives of Active-duty Service Members, Veterans, Inmates (Federal & States), Children, Students and Seniors by utilizing the 'Special Powers' of canine companionship and service of highly trained Assistance Dogs."