This isn't just a friend for now.
IT'S A FRIEND FOR LIFE.
Training & placing mobility service & skilled companion animals for kids with disabilities in our community. We are driven by our belief in early intervention & will work with families to place a dog as early in a child's life as there is a need & an interest.
Click here to give online
How Can You Help? Here are some examples of your donations at work:
Will provide in-home transition training for a child and their service dog.
Will pay for 1 month of inmate staff training.
Will allows us to select and buy a puppy to be trained and placed with a child.
Will purchase a puppy's first year of shots and heartworm preventative care.
Will provide a spay or neuter to a future friend for life.
Will buy 1 new dog crate.
Mail Donations to:
Wags 4 Kids
112 East Center St.
Berea, OH 44017
Interested in naming a future W.A.G.S. service dog to
honor a special occasion or a loved one?
Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A donation of $5,000 or more will name a dog
and change a child's life.
WHAT WE DO
Join us in doing something purely good ... something you can be proud of ... something that makes an impact. Join us in helping local children with disabilities and change a life.
Mission: $8,000 Family Fundraising
Donations for Alizay
Alizay Mikayla Norris was born November second of 2000 to parents Joseph and Katie Norris. Being a week overdue after a completely normal pregnancy Katie’s Doctor decided to have her labor induced. On November first Katie and Joe arrived to her appointment bright and early eagerly awaited the arrival of their newborn baby girl. Little did they know that the next twenty seven hours would change their lives and Ali’s life forever. Being young and not knowing of what was really going on Joe and Katie waited as the hours ticked away. Growing anxious the family started to question things that were going on. A few hours more had passed and it was early in the morning when a shift change came about. That’s when they found out that Katie’s Doctor had missed numerous telltale signs that baby Ali was in distress. At this time Katie was rushed in for an emergency C-section. When Ali was born she was not breathing. The emergency staff performed CPR and revived Ali for a short period of time until she stopped again. They then revived her, got her stabilized and that’s when her seizures began. She spent the first thirteen days of her life in the NICU at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland Ohio. A few months shy of one year old Alizay was diagnosed with Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy. Living with Cerebral Palsy, Alizay is a beautiful, intelligent, vibrant and active twelve year old. With very limited mobility Ali uses her wheelchair to get around. Now, with her getting older and smarter she’s starting to realize that there are a lot of things that she can’t do. With frequent outbursts from emotional issues she seeks companionship from a friend. Not Just Mom, Dad, her little sister or a friend but something that will be hers and be there for her. With a Skilled Companion Canine Alizay will have that special friend that will be there for her and be able to do things for her that she herself cannot do. Being a dog lover, even with an allergy to most of them, She is set to get a “Pal” that will be of no trigger to her allergies. Our hopes are that this special companion will provide unconditional and non-judgmental love and affection that will bring much joy and happiness that Miss Ali deserves. Please Help Us Make This A Reality For Our Ali Bugg. Make a donation to help Alizay. You can also mail a check to: Wags4Kids 112 East Center St. Berea, Oh 44017 Please make a memo note that your donation is for Alizay
Mission: $8,000 Family Fundraising
Donations for Cade
Hello!! Meet Cade! Cade is a fun loving free spirited little boy. He loves to play video games, watch youtube on the computer, and watch spongebob. He also loves to collect antiques and go to auctions. Cade is almost 11 years old and has mild autism and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He was born 10 weeks early and spent 6 weeks in the NICU. He was mildly delayed throughout his whole childhood. He battled many infections and spent a lot of time in and out of the hospital. Cade receives physical, occupational and speech therapy weekly at school. Although he has many things that could hold him back, Cade remains positive and is usually known as the class clown. He loves to make people laugh and watch everyone else have fun. We are trying to get Cade a service dog so that he has a life long companion as well as enabling him to keep his independence. We are in need of donations!! No donation is to small. Please help make this a reality for our little Angel! Make a donation to help Cade You can also mail a check to: Wags4Kids 112 East Center St. Berea, Oh 44017 Pleases make a memo note that your donation is for Cade
Mission: $8,000 Family Fundraising
Donations for Carson
Carson will be twelve on February 22. In the last twelve years Carson has had so many surgeries we quit counting .His first surgery was at 10 months of age. He was born with a clef lip and palette. Then other diagnoses of CHARGE syndrome, developmental delays, blindness, autism, and a progressive complete hearing loss that lead to bi-lateral cochlear implants. There will be many surgeries in the future and we are looking at braces soon too. Carson is a happy, loving, caring little boy who has been limited by his medical and behavior issues. A service dog will give Carson many of the opportunities to experience more of the world outside his home and school, as well as, improve socialization and his relationships this others. No contribution is too small. Please help to bring this tremendous animal into our home. Make a donation to help Carson. You can also mail a check to: Wags4Kids 112 East Center St. Berea, Oh 44017 Pleases make a memo note that your donation is for Carson
Mission: $8,000 Family Fundraising
Donations for Connor
Connor was diagnosed with Autism shortly after his 4th birthday. He was developing and hitting most milestones on schedule: He crawled, sat up and started walking around one. While his speech was delayed, progress was made with the help of speech therapy. We found some wonderful specialists and without their help we would not be where we are today. In 2009, Connor had a feeding tube placed in his nose. Within 6 months we saw great progress – 9 pounds. We stopped the tube for 1 year hoping his body would continue to grow and develop on its own but it did not. In 2012 we had a GI placed in his stomach. A few months after that he was diagnosed with RSS (Russell-Silver Syndrome) which is a muscle problem with a failure to thrive. Even with all these obstacles, Connor is full of life, bright, funny and a joy to be with. We still have many challenges in front of us however the presence of a service dog would boost Connor’s socialization skills, relationships, respect for others and self worth. Animals have a very calming affect which Connor sometimes needs. As a parent, you want to give your child everything, but without your help and contributions, I’m not sure if this would be possible. Make a donation to help Connor. You can also mail a check to: Wags4Kids 112 East Center St. Berea, Oh 44017 Pleases make a memo note that your donation is for Connor
Mission: $8,000 Family Fundraising
Donations for Kayla
Kayla was born three weeks early with an 80% heart blockage and had a surgical repair at 2 months weighing only 6 pounds. She was diagnosed with Failure to Thrive as an infant and then with Epilepsy by 2 years of age. By 2.5 years, she was diagnosed with a rare genetic metabolic disorder which caused many severe metabolic crises in her young life. By the time she was 4, Kayla had survived two cardiac arrests, liver and kidney failure, pancreatitis and severe fluctuations in her blood sugar levels. With the diagnosis of Mitochondrial Disease, a Mediport and G-Tube were surgically implanted. We have since been able to more effectively manage her medical conditions. However, social and behavioral concerns continue to exist and in 2010, Kayla was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and learning disabilities. She is TRULY our miracle child! A Skilled Companion Canine will be beneficial in meeting Kayla’s needs by providing emotional support and increasing her independence and self-confidence. Kayla is a loving child with a big heart and animals can sense this. Often, while in the hospital, Therapy Dogs came to visit. They were such a comfort to Kayla that six years later, she remembers their names and how they laid in the bed with her. She loves to ride horses and participates every week at a local Therapeutic Riding Center. It is our hope that a Skilled Companion Dog will give Kayla the confidence to play outside on her own with her “pal”. By doing so, she will gain strength and endurance. This special companion will provide unconditional and non-judgmental love and affection that will help Kayla cope with all her difficulties. Please help us reach this dream for our child. Make a donation to help Kayla. You can also mail a check to: Wags4Kids 112 East Center St. Berea, Oh 44017 Pleases make a memo note that your donation is for Kayla
Seeking placement of a service or skilled companion animal?
Our Kids, Our Stories, Our Photos...Thank you for the memories.
WHO WE ARE
Wendy Nelson Crann
Wendy brings a lifetime of experience to WAGS 4 Kids. Named after a family pet and a second generation dog breeder and trainer, Wendy began participation in Junior Showmanship at the age of ten. Forty years later, she has never stopped her involvement in the rearing, training and caretaking of dogs. Her training experiences include both pure and mixed breed dogs, wolf hybrids and behavior modification training for problem behaviors and rescue dog socialization issues from trauma or mistreatment in group classes and as a private instructor. Wendy has authored a book named "Dog's Don't Speak English", a training manual that helps the layman pick a puppy and teach it to be a service dog, skilled companion animal or simply a tremendous pet. Wendy oversees all training aspects of the WAGS4KIDS. programs including foster home selections for puppies and ongoing training evaluations. She is a member of the Delta Society, a Provider Member of the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP) and was chosen by the American Kennel Club as a registered evaluator for their Canine Good Citizen's qualification certifications. It is under Wendy's direction that WAGS 4 KIDS has taken shape with a very specific agenda. In Ohio,for Ohio. The animals we train here will stay here in our own northeast Ohio community. You can contact Wendy at: email@example.com Follow @wags4kids
Board Member Director of Placement Services
Ed Crann is Director of the Placement Services of WAGS 4 KIDS. Ed is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace College('74) and holds degree in Sociology. He earned a Special Education Certification from Cleveland State University in 1979. Ed was a Child Care Worker, Recreation Specialist, and later the School Monitor in his 5 year employment (1975-1980) at Children's Aid Society, a residential treatment center for children with emotional disturbances. He moved on as a classroom teacher for 10 years in the Special Education class at F.D. Roosevelt Jr. High, in the Glenville neighborhood in Cleveland. He also coached basketball and volleyball. This experience gave Ed a unique qualification to oversee placement decisions of our service animals. His first hand knowledge brings a special understanding of the kinds of life altering changes these animals can make in children's lives. Ed heads up the team of caring professionals involved in the application and placement process for service and skilled companion animals. His involvement with WAGS4KIDS also includes skill training with the dogs and team training with their new partners. Ed is also Co-founder of Ohio W.A.G.S., as well as Wags4Kids . When Ed left the teaching profession in 1989 to pursue business interests, he continued his involvement in our northeast Ohio community as a baseball coach in the Berea Baseball Association and the Southwest Suburban baseball league from 1995 to 2002. He is also the retired Head Varsity Volleyball Coach for the Lady Braves of Berea High School, former Head Coach of Brecksville High School Boys Volleyball and Retired Head Coach of Berea High School's new Boys Volleyball team. He is the proud father of Jay, Veteran of the United States Air Force Reserves and Patrick, owner of Shout Out Loud Prints, in Columbus, Ohio. You can contact Ed at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Board Member Director of Development
Sera Nelson is the Director of Development for WAGS 4 Kids and is a third generation dog trainer herself. Sera is a graduate of Gilmour Academy and Ohio University. She recieved her degree in Communications. With Gilmour's focus on community service guiding her, Sera spent her early career working in non-profit development and brand management for Higher Education. As a co-founder of WAGS 4 Kids, Sera's personal understanding of what it is to live as a child with a disability, having been diagnosed with a seizure disorder at age 2, gives Sera a special association to the way these animals can change a life for forever. Sera heads up the major events and development team of passionate volunteers involved in cultivating new parterships and opportunities for organizational advancement. Her involvement with WAGS 4 Kids also includes webmaster and social media oversight. Sera is formerly a co-founder of Ohio WAGS and currently sits as the Commissioner of Social Affairs for the prestigious Cleveland Young Professional Senate. You can contact Sera at: email@example.com
Board Member Director of Finance
Diana Fretwell is CFO of WAGS 4 Kids. As an elite business woman of Berea and the greater Cleveland area for over 25 years, Diana has led her company - ICNS - to success with her vision and innovative relationship and operational skills. In her spare time, Diana works tirelessly - alongside her loving husband, Jim - to give back to the community they love. Through her work with WAGS for Kids as well as Diana's Diva's bringing awareness to breast cancer...Diana is happy to lend a hand to any friend in need.
The work of W.A.G.S.4Kids is made possible by donations from individuals, civic groups, and corporation. Please take the opportunity to help us thank our sponsors with your patronage.
WHO'S TALKING ABOUT US
We’ll answer here the questions we get asked everyday. If the information you’re looking for isn’t explained just send and e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 216-406-7656.
Q: What do these dogs do to help a child?
A: WAGS 4 Kids trains both mobility service and skilled companion animals. Skilled companion animals feature a dog with a child safe disposition, temperament and behavior. Commands are trained with both verbal cues and hand signals so that either may be used. Skilled Companionship is valuable in addressing improved social interactions, visual and tactile stimulation, self-motivated behavior, as well as encouraging emotional bonding. Mobility service animals have additional training of task assignment which may include: retrieval of objects, opening doors and drawers, hitting light switches or preparing as a brace animal to walk slowly next to a child for physical support.
Q: Where do these dogs come from?
A: WAGS 4 Kids selects dogs for this intensive training program as puppies. We work with breeders, rescue groups and dog shelters to find available dogs. Puppies are carefully selected after passing tests of temperament, disposition and attention.
Q: Who trains these dogs?
A: All successful dog training starts with picking the right puppy and having a training plan. WAGS 4 Kids’ training manual “Dogs Don’t Speak English” is a complete step-by-step guide. This is the exact method used by WAGS staff of trainers, by the families who receive these dogs to partner with their children and by the foster families who help raise these dogs in training. All of WAGS’ dogs begin their training by these exact methods in a structured “cell dog” training program with a select group of inmates at The North Central Correctional Institution in Marion, Ohio. Much like shows you may have seen on “The Animal Plant”, WAGS has designed a training protocol to train inmates as animal trainers. The WAGS staff enters prison each week to train these men to train our dogs, to monitor each dog’s progress and to give specific instruction based on the need of each waiting child. After completion of the prison training program, dogs are moved to volunteer foster families. Here, the animals learn about the world around them and experience car rides, trips to the grocery store and the sounds on a typical home environment. WAGS trainers meet with the foster families weekly to monitor and direct the training of each animal. WAGS is always in need of more foster homes.
Q: How do I foster a service animal?
A: There is no special experience required. WAGS is looking for families willing to give of their hearts and their time. Our staff of trainers makes weekly visits to your home to work on each training exercise in the WAGS manual. Progress and problems are worked on individually so the dog has the best chance for success. The costs of food, equipment and veterinarian care are all covered by WAGS 4 Kids. Applications can be found online www.wags4kids.com or e-mail with your address and an application can be mailed to you. Every foster family has the opportunity to meet and know the child and family who will be receiving their dog at the end of training.
Q: Is it difficult for a foster family to give the dog back?
A: We understand that some attachment will form during the training process. We try to limit each foster assignment to approximately six months to help with that transition. Some families have said that when it is time to send on one of the foster pups they want us to bring another new pup at the same time. Jumping back into the process has made all the difference. For those who have participated as a foster family, the joy and accomplishment of placing a dog with one of the many children who are waiting is a gift that changes their own life.
Q: Who is eligible to receive a dog?
A: WAGS 4 Kids is the only organization of its kind, placing exclusively to children up to the age of 16. Many of our applicants are families with children in the five to twelve-year-old range. WAGS 4 Kids is driven by its belief in early intervention and will work to partner a dog as early in a child’s life as there is a need and an interest. All applicants must provide physician verification of disability as protected by the American with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Q: How do we apply?
A: A request for an application must be in writing. You must provide the name and age of the child and your mailing (No P.O. Boxes) address. You can do this by e-mail to email@example.com or via our online web form.
Q: How long will my child wait to receive a dog?
A: We generally are able to make a placement within two years. Skilled companion animals may be available somewhat sooner. The critical factor in having dogs available for placement, is our need in finding more foster families to work toward raising these animals.
Q: How does WAGS fund this program and what is the cost to a family?
A: Working Animals Giving Service for Kids, Inc. (WAGS 4 KIDS) is a federal 501(c)(3) charity. As a federal charity, all donations to WAGS 4 KIDS are tax deductible. WAGS holds fundraisers and participates in events throughout the year. We also ask families receiving an animal to make a commitment to do fund raising for WAGS, in their own communities with the people they know and the companies they do business with. Take a moment to look at the faces of the children who are waiting for a special dog of their own. Read their stories and see if you might help.
Q: How can I help?
A: While our biggest need is always finding foster homes, not every family is able to give in that way. There are lots of opportunities to help WAGS 4 Kids. We appreciate the time and talents of people who want to plan or work at fundraising events. We need help with office work, accounting and writers for our newsletter. If you have a talent, please come and share it with us. The total cost is approximately $15,000 per dog. We need the generosity of your tax deductible donations and your ability to spread the word about WAGS 4 Kids. Tell the people you know and the people you work for, that their financial gift to WAGS 4 Kids goes directly to children in this community that need their help. If you belong to a group or club looking for a cause to support........... If you’ve got a great idea for a new fundraiser ............... If your company will sponsor a dog for a child ............... Don’t be shy – contact us at WAGS 4 KIDS
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WAGS 4 Kids 112 East Center Street Berea, OH 44017
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Copyright 2012 Working Animals Giving Service for Kids, a federal 501 (c)(3)