Welcome to

Paws For Service

Our mission is to improve human health and well-being by promoting mutually beneficial relationships with dogs and using them as examples of God’s unconditional love.

about us

Who We Are

What started as an outreach program in 1995 has grown into an organization with a wide footprint in the San Antonio area, with thousands of people served each year. PAWS for Service trains, certifies and places therapy dog teams in the greater San Antonio area. PAWS members and their dogs volunteer their time to encourage, support and comfort people. We visit children and adults whose activities and interactions are limited due to health or other reasons. We support hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, rehabilitation centers, Veterans services and Schools.

Therapy Dog visits young boy in the hospital

Make a Donation

Donating is simple and easy. Your donation will help us continue our mission to spread “doggie joy” to  people and organizations all across San Antonio. 

What's the Difference?

Therapy Dogs vs. Service Dogs

At PAWS for Service, we only train therapy dogs.
Many people use the terms “therapy dog” and “service dog” interchangeably, but there are major differences between the two.

A Service Dog helps individuals perform tasks they cannot do for themselves because of a disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act governs the use of service dogs in public places. A service dog typically wears a vest with the words “please do not pet,” indicating that the dog is working.

Therapy Dogs do not have federally granted legal access to the types of public areas afforded to service dogs. A therapy dog and his handler/owner visit facilities such as hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, VA facilities and schools. A therapy dog is there to be petted and provide comfort and affection to individuals at various places that request a visit.

Have a Different Question?

We are glad to help you find the information you need to inquire about membership, requesting a therapy dog visit, or getting more involved in this amazing cause. 


Therapy Stories

What does it Take to become a Dog Therapy Team

Basic Qualifications

Our comprehensive program includes behavioral dog training with specialized skills to complement animal visitations. Our classes include simulated and actual visitation experiences with personalized attention to each team. Classes have been developed to improve the existing bond between owners and their dogs.

We hold evening classes during the spring and fall at University Methodist Church

  1. Members must be at least 18 years
    old and be able to visit at least
    once a month.
  2. Dogs must be at least 2 years old,
    current on all vaccinations and be
    able to demonstrate basic obedience skills such as:
    • Sit
    • Down
    • Come
    • Stay
    • Walk on loose leash
  3. Dogs must be well socialized: they
    must be able to accept petting from multiple people and not be reactive to other dogs

Apply to become a Therapy Dog Team Today.

Meet a friend

Request a Therapy Dog Team

Therapy Sessions
0 +
Therapy Dog Teams
Years Serving SA
get in touch

Meet our Team

Leisa & Sheriff

PAWS for Service Vice President Anne and Beau

Anne & Beau

Vice President
PAWS for Service Training Coordinator Jennifer and Boone

Jennifer & Boone

Training Coordinator