Get Fit with 6: paws4people brings Tony, discusses mission

Kaitlin Bellamy and Sara Harts from paws4people brought Tony, a 4.5-month-old puppy in training, in to the studio to discuss the nonprofit’s mission.
Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 8:18 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Paws4people brought Tony, a 4.5-month-old puppy in training, into the studio to discuss the nonprofit’s mission. WECT’s Get Fit with 6 race, scheduled to occur on Sept. 10, will benefit paws4people.

A local organization, paws4people serves throughout the country by providing assistance dogs to those in need. Per their website, the nonprofit has trained over 1,200 dogs to assist in areas such as psychiatric service, mobility and crisis response.

“Our dogs choose their career, choose their client,” said Sara Harts, Director of the Puppy Development Center. “They’ll see where to group him [Tony], what his strengths are, where they think he’ll do best and then he’s going to pick his career. We’re not going to force him to do a line of work that he’s not inclined to want to do.”

Per their website, paws4people presently focuses on providing dogs to:

  • Children and adolescents with physical, neurological, psychiatric and/or emotional disabilities
  • Veterans and service members with Chronic/Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI), Military Sexual Trauma, and Moral Injury

“There’s a lot of different clients that we serve,” said Kaitlin Bellamy, Executive Administration Director. “First responders as well as active duty dependents.”

Locally, paws4people has assisted the Wilmington Fire Department in training dogs for their crisis response team. Zach Whisenhunt brought one such dog, Rhys, into the studio to discuss the impact the dogs have had on the community and on the fire department. That interview can be viewed below.

Zach Whisenhunt brought one such dog, Rhys, into the studio to discuss the impact the dogs have had on the community and on the fire department.

The Get Fit with 6 race will take place at Waterline Brewing at 721 Surry St., Wilmington. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 10. For more information about the event, please visit the Get Fit with 6 webpage.