Paws of CNY is an organization dedicated to training and utilizing service dogs to assist anyone from first graders to the elderly.
The organization has been around for over 20 years serving the central New York community. Amy Dumas, president of Paws of CNY, said the visits with the dogs elicit a wide range of emotions.
“I’ll tell you, we’ve left visits in tears, we’ve left laughing, I mean it’s just such a safe place for people to feel whatever they’re feeling,” Dumas said.
The dogs’ ability to love unconditionally is what she says is most special about their connection to humans.
“They’re completely unbiased, and they’re there in the moment, so they’re focused on you in that moment. They’re not thinking about the, you know, groceries they need to pick up on the way home or the work they didn’t get done earlier in the day,” said Dumas.
The most rewarding part of her job though is seeing the dogs flourish in their different roles.
“It’s funny because each one I’ve had has been… always are good in all different situations but you can really see where they shine, what they really love to do, where they love to be,” Dumas said.
Anyone in need of a service dog or looking to volunteer can contact Paws of CNY on their website, pawsofcny.org.