PAALS trains animals to assist people with varying abilities to live more independent and enriched lives by providing them with assistance dogs. There are five basic categories that PAALS assistance dogs fall into once they are trained.
Service Dogs for Mobility Challenges.
These individuals are typically in a wheelchair and use a service dog to help them reach things they can’t from a seated position. These specially trained canines are taught to turn lights on and off, tug open doors, pick up dropped items and alert for help.
These dogs are taught to apply deep pressure relief and comfort by pressing on a leg or lying on a child’s lap. Service dogs for autism can also encourage a child to stay with their parents in public by providing a handle or leash for the child to hold and aid the child with increasing social and life skills.
Service Dogs for Facilities.
These dogs can assist a psychologist, nurse, activities director, physical therapists, or teachers in their workplace by providing motivation. These dogs can also be taught skills integrated into traditional therapies to increase independence.
Skilled Home Companions
The skilled home companion is trained to help in home settings only for special needs assistance. These dogs help a home bound person in a wheelchair with tasks that supplement the limitations of their mobility. Skilled home companions can also assist a child with autism or with mental delays in their home setting to foster bonding relationships and assist with therapies and life skills development.
Service Dogs for PTSD
Service for PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for local soldiers. These dogs assist mostly soldiers who have returned from war and have trouble/difficulty going out in public due to their startle responses and fears related to tragic events they have experienced. PTSD dogs can provide a physical barrier between their partner and the public, provide stress reducing pressure on trained body points, and provide a social bridge as a point of conversation.