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Who We Are

Our Mission
To enrich the lives of people with disabilities by providing them with exceptionally skilled assistance dogs; To utilize the power of the human-canine bond as a therapeutic, educational, healing tool.
Our Strategy

We accomplish this through educational and vocational training programs which offers opportunities for students, prison inmates, veterans, and others to train the assistance dogs for placement.

Our Vision

To enable persons with disabilities to lead more independent, self-reliant, and fulfilling lives with the assistance of a canine partner.

PawPADs At A Glance

  • PawPADs is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization 501(C)(3) charitable organization (EIN: 510593176) headquartered in Lakeville, Minnesota
  • Founded in 2005; incorporated and registered as a non-profit since 2007
  • We primarily focus on training service dogs for people with physical mobility disabilities. Our dogs can also be trained as Diabetic Alert dogs (trained for detecting changes in blood sugar levels), Home Help-mate dogs (these have been trained in the same skills as Service Dogs, but are not granted public access qualifications due to not meeting our high standards of performance), and Facility/Animal Assisted Therapy dogs on a case-by-case basis.
  • Our service area is roughly 200 miles from our Training center in Lakeville, MN.
  • Our clients consist of wounded warriors and other persons with physical mobility challenges, children and adults with diabetes, and facilities such as schools, Veterans homes, and victim services.
  • Our funding relies primarily on individual contributions, corporate and foundation contributions, fundraisers, gifts in-kind and grants.
  • Through our training programs – ADEPT, Prison Road Puppies, Paw Corps, Project Y.E.S., and the SIT Program – we offer University students, volunteers, veterans, inmates, and youth the opportunity to help raise and train our amazing canines.
  • Three paid staff (Executive Director, Director of Operations, and ADEPT Program Manager), 25 volunteers

The PawPADs Difference

Positive Training Methods.

PawPADs uses only positive reinforcement to shape behaviors into tasks useful to human partners. Our goal is to provide our clients with happy, emotionally balanced, confident dogs that trust and want to be with them. The infliction of pain, intimidation, and domination has no place in our training programs at any time.

Innovative Training Programs.

Programs designed to create powerful, life-enhancing experiences through working with dogs – as the very act of working with, being around and training these dogs can be therapeutic and life-altering in profound ways.

Animal Rescue.

Our goal is to train one rescue dog for every dog bred for our programs. These rescue dogs may be trained as Service dogs, Diabetic Alert Dogs, Home helpmates, or simply a well trained companion animal. There’s a job for every dog that trots out our doors…even if it is simply to be the best partner and family companion ever!

Environmental Impact.

From our geo-thermal heating/cooling at our training center to making our events as “green” as we can to re-purposing items into other useful items, PawPADs is committed to minimizing our impact on our fragile earth in every way we can.

Key Staff

photo of PawPADs' Founder and ED, Linda Ball

Linda Ball

Founder and Executive Director

PawPADs' Founder and Executive Director, Linda Ball, has spent over 35 years working in the social services and non-profit fields. She is an accomplished non-profit manager and professional dog trainer. A Minnesota native and a University of Minnesota Alumnus, Linda holds her M.S. Degree in Experiential Education and has served as guest lecturer at the University of Minnesota and the Mongolian National University.

In 2005 Linda returned to the United States' from her GOAL-Ireland posting in Central America with the vision of creating a program utilizing the power of animals to create effective change. She is committed to creating life enhancing experiences and partnerships between canines and people facing the many challenges life can present with four paws and a pawsitive perspective!

[spoiler title="Her education and accomplishments include:" open="no" style="fancy" icon="arrow" anchor_in_url="no"]

  • B.A. Speech Communications (University of Minnesota)
  • M.Ed. Experiential Education (University of Minnesota)
  • A.S. Assistance Dog Education (Bergin University of Canine Studies)
  • m-MBA, Nonprofit Management (University of St. Thomas)
  • Formerly the Regional Director, GOAL Ireland (an International Aid Organization), in Bosnia, Kosovo and Central America.
  • Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Mongolia '93-'95, and author of the first Mongolian Sign - Language dictionary. Presidents "Call To Service"
  • Lifetime Volunteer Service Award.
  • Four times trans-continental crossing of the United States by bicycle - raising donations and awareness for cancer research and the Susan G. Komen foundation, the world's largest breast cancer organization.[/spoiler]

Maddie Jensen

Program Manager

Maddie is a UW-River Falls graduate with BS in Animal Science with a companion animal emphasis and a former ADEPT intern. She is responsible for oversight of the ADEPT program which includes day-to-day management of students and dogs, development and delivery of instructional material and monitoring training progress of each of the dogs. Maddie also assists with fundraising efforts, social media campaigns, follow-up with teams and the many other aspects of running PawPADs. Maddie is a remarkable dog trainer, as well as an excellent ADEPT instructor; sharing her keen insights and skills with the interns on a daily basis.

Randy Patrick

Director of Operations

Randy brings the perspective of more than a decade experience in positive based dog training and over thirty years’ experience managing diverse work forces and volunteers. He understands – better than most – the challenges and issues facing our veterans and their families:

"I’m a Vietnam-era US Air Force veteran, come from a military “Gold Star” family, and am the son of WWII P.O.W. I’m a retired law enforcement officer/detective, and have served our Nation abroad, having lived or worked in Bosnia, Kosovo, Central America, and Afghanistan. I have a BA in Business Administration and an AA in Criminal Justice. "

Board of Directors

What Does PawPADs' Board Do?

Like most nonprofit Boards, it's primary responsibility is strategic and financial program oversight, along with fundraising/development activity.

In short: they provide foresight, oversight, and insight.

They advise, govern, set and oversee policy, and assist with the leadership and general promotion of PawPADs. They provide resources: financial contributions, contacts (personal and corporate) and community networking, and professional in-kind services, in order to ensure PawPADs has adequate resources to carry out its mission. They are volunteers and their passion for our mission and personal and collective example is critically important to our success. Boards are not owners of the organization but are stewards of the organization’s mission and resources.

Angie Ardolf

Board President and Constituent
Contact: AArdolf(at)

Alan Tenenholtz

Board Treasurer
Contact: Alan_T(at)

Alan Tenenholtz photo

Linda Ball

Contact: Linda (at)

Audrey Bergstrom

Board Member
Contact: Audrey(at)


Support PawPADs

PawPADs is a 501(C)(3) charitable organization so your contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. (EIN: 510593176)
Contact Us

9877 234th Street East
Lakeville, MN 55044-8299
Sorry, visit by appointment only
Phone: +001 (612) 643-5671

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