by ROAD iD Staff August 06, 2019

4 Paws For Ability and ROAD iDEmpowerment, peace of mind, and independence are three values we take seriously at ROAD iD. We also happen to share those values with 4 Paws for Ability, which is why a portion of every ROAD iD order is donated to their mission of placing quality service dogs with veterans and children with disabilities. 

One of the most amazing days at 4 Paws for Ability is Graduation Day — the day when families across the country gather in Xenia, Ohio and meet their new four-legged friends. But these aren’t your average puppies ready for a forever home. These animals are life-changing companions for kids, moms, dads, veterans, and siblings.

In the video above: Hear from the founders of ROAD iD and 4 Paws for a closer look at our partnership, along with scenes from 4 Paws' graduation ceremony.

"You don't come out of graduation unchanged. All of us here live for graduation day," says Karen Shirk, founder of 4 Paws for Ability.

Karen started 4 Paws nearly 20 years ago. Since then, the non-profit has grown to campus-sized facility that has trained and placed more than 1,500 service dogs with people who need them most. 4 Paws specializes in training a range of service dogs—Autism Service Dogs, Hearing Aid Dogs, Diabetic Alert Dogs, FASD Assistance Dogs, and Mobility Assistance Dogs, just to name a few. 

The 18 service dog recipients ranged from toddlers to combat veterans.

We had the privilege of watching 18 dogs graduate from 4 Paws earlier this year. The 18 service dog recipients ranged from toddlers to combat veterans, but as they left graduation, they shared one thing in common: A new sense of independence, assistance to their families, and a new best friend. 

Karen says anyone who witnesses graduation day is forever changed by the so-called "4 Paws Magic." We can confirm that she's correct.

Watch the video above for scenes from Graduation Day.