Founded in 2010 by experienced service dog trainer and military mom Michelle Nelson,
PAVE’s mission is to provide custom-trained service dogs for Veterans free of charge.
Service dogs have the incredible ability to change lives. This is something that Dr. Michelle Nelson has learned in over a decade of training and placing service dogs. As she gained qualifications in professional dog training and clicker training, she was inspired by the service dogs’ wonderful ability to change people’s lives for the better through their trained tasks. Like many other young people, Michelle’s son joined the military and volunteered to go to Iraq for one year. This was the catalyst for the creation of PAVE; an organization that trains service dogs specifically for Veterans.
After returning from military service, many Veterans are left with visible and invisible wounds. The psychological and physical impacts of military service can last forever, often consuming the lives of Veterans and profoundly impacting their ability to perform everyday tasks. Conditions like PTSD, MST, and TBI affect Veterans and can, unfortunately, lead to reduced quality of life or suicide. On average, 22 Veterans take their own lives every day. At PAVE, we are wholeheartedly committed to reducing this devastating statistic and helping Veterans to live a fulfilled life with the support of their PAVE service dog. The transformational healing effects service dogs can have on the lives of these Veterans has been well documented.
There is a need for service dogs for our deserving Veterans; PAVE was founded in 2010 with the mission to provide them. Paws Assisting Veterans is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit that provides service dogs free of charge to our Veterans. During our first 11 years, we have proudly trained and matched numerous service dogs for Veterans and provided lifetime support for every PAVE placement. Our trainers at PAVE deeply believe in the amazing gifts and abilities dogs share with humans. We witness the miracles and save lives everyday thanks to these amazing, task trained dogs. Hear the stories of some of our Veterans!