You may already know this, but my service dog Sami came from Palmetto Animal Assisted Life Services (PAALS). The organization means a lot to me, but not for the obvious reason of Sami being the most amazing dog you will ever meet (okay, maybe I'm a little biased) or even the fact that he has literally changed my life. I learned a lot during the 2 years PAALS worked with me before I got Sami. It was eye opening to see so many volunteers give so unselfishly to make a difference in MY life. And beyond that, PAALS existed in the Executive Director's home - she could have 20 dogs living in her house at any one time and PAALS staff and volunteers coming and going at all times. It all seemed a little crazy to me at first, and then I began meeting people through PAALS who either had a service dog or were on the waiting list to receive one. I met people who were ill, people who had lost limbs, people who had been in car accidents and were now in a wheel chair, and people who had served our country and were now basically homebound with PTSD and then I wanted to become a part of changing the lives of people.
PAALS finally moved into a facility in late August - 10 days later, disaster struck. A sewer main downstream of the PAALS sewer connection clogged up and the new PAALS building was flooded throughout with 4 inches of raw sewage. The sewage company doesn’t feel responsible. The county doesn’t feel responsible. PAALS insurance has an exclusion for sewage backup. Now the PAALS building is closed and all of the PAALS service dogs in training are spread out into volunteer’s homes until it can reopen.
Bottom line - PAALS needs our help - and you can be a part.