Xenia organization that helps children, veterans expanding

XENIA, Ohio — A local organization that helps children and veterans with disabilities is expanding again. 4 Paws for Ability in Xenia on Dayton Avenue is now under construction.

Construction crews have knocked down an old house. The house the was used when 4 Paws started.

Volunteer Darlene Andes said, “This is where I started.”

For the past five years, Andes has been a volunteer with the organization that now raises and trains services dogs for children with disabilities and veterans – located all over the world.

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“It’s said because it’s time gone. Yet, I am looking toward the future. We’ll help so many dogs and so many more kids and so many more adults, so it makes me feel good,” Andes said.

Executive Director Mark Thomas said, “This house, while it served it purpose, it was time to be replaced.”

Thomas, who has been executive director since June, said the old house recently serves as a puppy house, where new additions were raised until it was training time. But the house was old and 4 Paws had outgrown it.

“We were running out of space to take care of the puppies properly. We needed somewhere to do that. That’s when this place came available,” Thomas said.

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The old house was used as the ability center – an old building that with the help of Dorothy and Sue, was remodeled and updated into a temporary puppy house. Eventually, there will be a new puppy house built where the hold one once stood, but that will take time and money.

Thomas said, “We’re raising puppies for children and veterans with disabilities, and we need people to support 4 Paws. It’s not just an operation in Xenia or Ohio, it’s worldwide.”

4 Paws for Ability is a 24-hour operation because all the puppies need care. But the goal is to get them ready to help a child or a veteran in need.