Our Story

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Committed to Providing Our Veterans With trained service dogs

PAWWS-Paws Assisting Wounded WarriorS has been pairing military veterans with their ideal service dog companion for more than 10 years. Through our programs, we’ve helped several soldiers re-enter civilian life and find new careers in pet care, grooming, and training.

Our Story

The passing of Father Frank Cimarrusti is where the story of our organization begins. Our founder, Pam Barnett, was invited to Dave Cimarrusti’s (Frank's brother) house in Lake Bluff, IL. Dave invited her to come and say goodbye to Father Frank, who was near death. She found it odd that out of all his friends, he called her. She made the 52-mile journey in one hour and arrived before Father Frank made his final journey to heaven.

About Us

Our staff consists of professional dog trainers dedicated to the training of all our service dogs. Our canine candidates come from a variety of sources, including rescue dogs. The first step on the program is to train with us for up to 120 hours before placement. All our canine candidates must pass a series of temperament tests to be eligible for entry into the program.

Our Team

  • Pam Barnett - President/Founder
  • Lisa Francis - Secretary
  • Rich Schroeder - Treasurer
  • Mike Sullivan
  • Dave Cimirusti

Finances

This is a review of our finances since we have started here at PAWWS. Thank you to all the donators and supporters that we have had along the way to make this happen!

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All proceeds are tax-deductible.
Tax ID:45-4852603

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Supporters

Thank you to all the organizations and all the patriotic individuals that have helped PAWWS. We could not take this journey without your kindness and generosity.

Sponsorship opportunities available please contact:

Pam Barnett (Founder & President)

(708) 369-1981

Some of the organizations that have provided support are listed below.

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  • St. Charles Borromeo School, St Anthony, MN.
  • Lake Bluff American Legion Post 510
  • Glenn Maker American Legion Post 1160
  • Lake Bluff Women's Club
  • Illinois Motorcycle Freedom Run
  • The Grainger Foundation
  • VCA Animal Hospitals
  • Stars & Stripes
  • Lake Bluff Knights of Columbus
  • Marrs-Meyer American Legion Post 991
  • Village of Orland Park Veterans' Commission
  • Marine Corps League Auxiliary Burbank Unit #140
  • Many Generous Employees of Central Steel and Wire
  • Palos Heights Women's Club
  • Stars & Stripes
  • Century 21 Affiliated
  • Colleen Moore-Grinter
  • Judy Rock Owner of Every Good Gift
  • Pam Durak "Dennis Memorial"
  • Bag Pipes and Drums of the Emerald Society
  • Evangelical Lutheran
  • DJ Billy DE
  • Every Good Gift
  • Ladies of Harley's
  • Lake Forest K of C
  • American Legion Evanston Post 42
  • Burbank Lions Club
  • American Legion Ladies Auxilary
  • DAV 84 Northern Illinois
  • Real Dog Moms of Chicago
  • St. Alexander Catholic School
  • Cindy Witowski
  • Lake Bluff Knights of Columbus
  • Marrs-Meyer American Legion Post 991
  • Village of Orland Park Veterans' Commission
  • Marine Corps League Auxiliary Burbank Unit #140
  • Many Generous Employees of Central Steel and Wire
  • Palos Heights Women's Club
  • Ladies of Harley's
  • Century 21 Affiliated
  • Colleen Moore-Grinter
  • Judy Rock Owner of Every Good Gift
  • Pam Durak "Dennis Memorial"
  • Bag Pipes and Drums of the Emerald Society
  • Evangelical Lutheran
  • DJ Billy DE
  • Every Good Gift
  • Lake Forest K of C
  • American Legion Evanston Post 42
  • Burbank Lions Club
  • American Legion Ladies Auxilary
  • DAV 84 Northern Illinois
  • Real Dog Moms of Chicago
  • St. Alexander Catholic School
  • Cindy Witowski

Please feel free to help our dogs and our veterans!
Thank you for your donation!

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Reach Out to Us

For questions, concerns, or anything else you’d like to discuss with our organization, get in touch with our office today. We look forward to hearing from you.