Kids In Need: Meet Andrew

Andrew Ody, 17, recently suffered a TBI.

Donate To Andrew
 $8,500 Raised So Far!


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Meet Andrew, up until a few days after his seventeenth birthday Andrew was a typical American teenager.  He wanted to finish high school, join the Coast Guard, and go to college.  Then a tragic accident changed his world forever.  Andrew was enjoying a weekend away with family and friends to celebrate his birthday, when he fell off the back of a golf cart and was lifeflighted to the hospital.  Andrew suffered a traumatic brain injury requiring emergency surgery to remove part of his skull to relieve the pressure in his brain.  He was in coma and required life support, doctors were not hopeful for any type of recovery.  But Andrew is a fighter and was not ready to leave this earth.  His brain injury has left him with right sided weakness, cognitive delays and aphasia.  Andrew has been an animal lover since the day he was born!  A service dog would provide Andrew with emotional and physical support and help in his continued rehab, therapy and recovery process.  Please help us, help Andrew.

Donate Now!

Donate Now!

You can also mail a check to:

W.A.G.S. 4 Kids

112 E. Center Street

Berea, OH 44017

Please make a memo note that your donation is in Andrew’s Name.

w.a.g.s. 4 kids

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W.A.G.S. 4 Kids Saved My Life – A Letter From An Inmate Apprentice

This started as just a way to get some things off of my chest really late a few nights ago. Sort of a journal entry, if you will, to lighten the load of my current circumstances. But God put it on my heart to share this with everyone here today so you all would know what this program really means to the men involved. And you can’t really tell God no without facing extreme consequences anyway, so I revised it somewhat and would like to share it with you all.

W.A.G.S. 4 Kids saved my life…For most of my existence I didn’t know what I wanted out of life, or even how to just be happy. I bulldozed my way through nearly three decades destroying everything and everyone in my path. I hurt my family and bought my friends. I treated people with disrespect if I acknowledged them at all. Even worse, I lied, I cheated, and I stole; sometimes to and from people I didn’t know; sometimes to and from those who loved me most. I spent most of my time taking from people. It is an exhausting way to live. W.A.G.S. 4 Kids has given me the chance to give back for all the taking I have been doing for so, so long. Now, I know what I want to do for the rest of my life. I want to train amazing animals to do amazing things for amazing people, an I owe it all to the W.A.G.S. 4 Kids family. This includes my fellow trainers, the amazing individuals behind the scenes that we don’t see on a regular basis, Wendy, Lisa, Josh, Sergeant Roberts, Sergeant Schaeffer, and last but not least, the most important piece of the puzzle, the awesome families we train these beautiful animals to assist. They say, you are to average of the five closest people you surround yourself with. These days, I try to associate with people who have better ideas than myself. I know I’m not perfect and I know I have a long way to go to catch up with most of the people around me, but I will never give up my hope and I will never give up my faith because

…W.A.G.S. 4 Kids saved my life

~This was written and read aloud by Justin at the W.A.G.S. 4 Kids Christmas Party at GCI on December 22, 2014.

Scott Taylor Joins W.A.G.S. 4 Kids’ Board Of Directors

Scott Taylor joins the W.A.G.S. 4 Kids Board of Directors

BEREA, Ohio—December 10, 2014—Working Animals Giving Service for Kids® (W.A.G.S. 4 Kids) today announced that Scott Taylor, 19 Action News Investigative Reporter and National Award winning Journalist, has been elected to W.A.G.S. 4 Kids’ Board of Directors.

No stranger to giving back to his community, Scott has volunteered with Cogswell Hall in Cleveland, Make- A-Wish and the Energy for Life Walkathon in Akron. He’s worked with X-Mass In April in Columbus, Ohio, Walk for the Homeless in Memphis, TN and The Ronald McDonald House.

Mr. Taylor devotes much of his work on exclusive 19 Action News Undercover Investigations exposing corruption and crime with over 25 years of experience in broadcast television news. Scott also was instrumental in convincing the United States EPA to start their own Federal Investigation into the Clyde Cancer Cluster that has taken the lives of 7 children and sickened more than 30 kids in Sandusky County, Ohio.

The Cleveland Press Club says Scott is “fearless in his approach to telling the story”.  Columbus Monthly Magazine calls him: The Macho Troubleshooter Reporter. You have seen Scott Taylor on the national stage too with appearances on Anderson Cooper 360, Investigation Discovery, The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, Politics Nation with Al Sharpton on MSNBC, Out Front with Erin Burnett and Piers Morgan Live.

Wendy Crann, W.A.G.S. 4 Kids Founder, introduced Scott to The W.A.G.S. Board of Directors this past week. “ I am delighted to share with our hard-working Board members, not only the public figure and stellar reputation that Scott commands, but in equal measure his kind heart and his commitment to family first. His abilities in both the local and national community will be extremely valuable as W.A.G.S 4 Kids continues to grow and his down to earth sensibilities of every father who loves his family, makes him the perfect fit.”

“I’m overjoyed that Scott has agreed to join the board of W.A.G.S. 4 Kids.  His strength of character, kindness and engaging personality that have made him such a success as an investigative journalist distinguish him as a significant and important addition to the board.” states Interim-Chairman Sam W. Rosenfeld “As we look to a bright future for W.A.G.S. 4 Kids that involves expanding the training model, and therefore service dogs for children who desperately need them, we look to Scott to help us identify the right paths to take and best ways to spread awareness of what we’re doing and how people and organizations can become involved.”

“I love the people who work at W.A.G.S. 4 Kids and their mission of helping kids in need.” said Taylor “Keep your eyes on this charity in 2015! We’re putting families first – great things to come.”

Scott Taylor has won 2 Genesis Awards in Los Angeles for his investigations of animal abuse on a Ohio Dairy Farm and a Texas Cattle Ranch. He’s been honored with 16 television broadcast journalism awards including awards from The Associated Press, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Humane Society of the United States.

His resume includes stops at WSYX-TV (Columbus, Ohio), WHBQ-TV (Memphis, Tennessee) and WXOW-TV (La Crosse, Wisconsin). He’s worked on investigations with A Current Affair and Inside Edition.  You’ve also seen Scott on CNN Headline News, Fox After Breakfast, The Geraldo Rivera Show, The Weather Channel and CBS Up To The Minute.

W.A.G.S. 4 Kids provides mobility service and Autism service animals, meeting the specific needs of children with disabilities in Northeast Ohio.  Our award-winning training program is an Accredited Apprenticeship Program of The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. W.A.G.S. 4 Kids is the only organization in Ohio that exclusively places service dogs with children up to the age of 18. What is most unique to the W.A.G.S. 4 Kids program is the personal attention made to the applicant families. W.A.G.S. provides in-home transition training and ongoing placement training and support as a best practices commitment to each family they serve.

Press Contact:
Sera Nelson
Director of Development & Special Events, W.A.G.S. 4 Kids
(216) 586-5853 ext. 2

For more information on W.A.G.S. 4 Kids:

That Time Santa Paws Came To Town

Pet Photos With Santa Paws

On Saturday, December 6th, 2014  – nearly 100 furry friends and their humans came out to The Barkley Pet Hotel & Day Spa in support of W.A.G.S. 4 Kids and to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas, of course. Full of holiday cheer, these pups posed with the REAL Santa Paws! With some of the proud parents joining in on the family fun.


Special Thanks to Howard Perl, Owner of The Barkley Pet Hotel and Day Spa for hosting this fun and festive event!

About W.A.G.S. 4 Kids:

W.A.G.S. 4 Kids provides mobility service and skilled companion animals, meeting the specific needs of children with disabilities in Northeast Ohio, utilizing our Accredited Cell Dog Training Program. W.A.G.S. 4 Kids is the only organization in Ohio that exclusively places service dogs with children up to the age of 18. What is most unique to the W.A.G.S. 4 Kids program is the personal commitment made to the families we serve. W.A.G.S. provides in-home transition training and ongoing placement training and support.

Press Contact:

Sera Nelson
Director of Development & Special Events, W.A.G.S. 4 Kids
(216) 586-5853 ext. 2

For more information on W.A.G.S. 4 Kids:

Ali & Her Angel…

Kids In Need - Meet Alizay!

Meet Alizay!


Donate To Alizay
 $3,109.44 Raised So Far!


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Alizay Mikayla Norris was born November second of 2000 to parents Joseph and Katie Norris. Being a week overdue after a completely normal pregnancy Katie’s Doctor decided to have her labor induced. On November first Katie and Joe arrived to her appointment bright and early eagerly awaited the arrival of their newborn baby girl. Little did they know that the next twenty seven hours would change their lives and Ali’s life forever.

Being young and not knowing of what was really going on Joe and Katie waited as the hours ticked away. Growing anxious the family started to question things that were going on. A few hours more had passed and it was early in the morning when a shift change came about. That’s when they found out that Katie’s Doctor had missed numerous telltale signs that baby Ali was in distress. At this time Katie was rushed in for an emergency C-section. When Ali was born she was not breathing. The emergency staff performed CPR and revived Ali for a short period of time until she stopped again. They then revived her, got her stabilized and that’s when her seizures began. She spent the first thirteen days of her life in the NICU at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland Ohio. A few months shy of one year old Alizay was diagnosed with Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy.

Living with Cerebral Palsy, Alizay is a beautiful, intelligent, vibrant and active twelve year old. With very limited mobility Ali uses her wheelchair to get around. Now, with her getting older and smarter she’s starting to realize that there are a lot of things that she can’t do. With frequent outbursts from emotional issues she seeks companionship from a friend. Not Just Mom, Dad, her little sister or a friend but something that will be hers and be there for her. With a Skilled Companion Canine Alizay will have that special friend that will be there for her and be able to do things for her that she herself cannot do. Being a dog lover, even with an allergy to most of them, She is set to get a “Pal” that will be of no trigger to her allergies. Says Mom, Katie during a 2013 interview, “Our hopes are that this special companion will provide unconditional and non-judgmental love and affection that will bring much joy and happiness that Miss Ali deserves. Please Help Us Make This A Reality For Our Ali Bugg.”


Happily Ever After...Ali & Her Angel! They Still Need Your Help! Please Click To Donate Online Today!

Happily Ever After…Ali & Her Angel! They Still Need Your Help! Please Click To Donate Online Today!

Donate Online Now

Donate Online Now!

You can also mail a check to:

 W.A.G.S. 4 Kids

112 E. Center Street

Berea, OH 44017

Please make a memo note that your donation is for Alizay

W.A.G.S. 4 Kids Home

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Get Pet Photos With Santa Paws @barkleypethotel to Benefit @WAGS4KIDS via @CoolCleveland


Sat 12/6, 9am – 5pm

For the 4th year in a row, the real Santa Paws is coming back to town! His return to The Barkley Pet Hotel and Day Spa on Sat 12/6 will be a holiday memory-making affair you’ll cherish for years to come. All healthy and friendly pets are welcome for their 2014 holiday photo to be taken on Santa’s lap. Barkley stylists will be ready to give Pawdicures and mini “fluff-ups” prior to the snap of the lens.

This year’s recipient of your $10 donation per pet will benefit the W.A.G.S. 4 Kids (Working Animals Giving Service for Kids) non-profit organization. Their efforts are dedicated to providing mobility service and autism service animals that meet the specific needs of children with disabilities in Northeast Ohio. W.A.G.S. 4 Kids achieves this by utilizing their Award-Winning ODRC Accredited Cell Dog Training Program, and is driven by the belief that early intervention and will work with a family early in a child’s life if there is a need and an interest.

Director of Development and Special Events Sera Nelson beams, “We have placed over 55 dogs to homes with children where their primary diagnosis is anywhere from cerebal palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, as well as duchenne muscular dystrophy and lymph girdle muscular dystrophy, autism, quadriplegic and paraplegic. And then there is everything else you can think of: chromosonal abnormalities and so on.

“It’s pretty extensive what we and our trainers will and can do for a child. The only true requirement to be a recipient of a service dog is that we place dogs solely with children with disabilities. These dogs are their friends for life. Really the sky is the limit when it comes to what these service dogs can do. They are taught multiple therapies and they’re a child’s and family’s personal assistant. I can’t even put into words what these dogs really can do…it’s emotional, it’s physical, it’s mental…it’s all of those put into one.”

“We are the charity that Cleveland built,” Sera continues.We are truly local and are making real change in the community. We luckily live in a community who really wants to make a change and I’m excited to see all these wonderful things that are happening in our community, across the board. Everybody is just so excited to see this city, this area grow and change and become better and become everything that everybody teased us that we would never be.

“If people want to get involved with a charity that really represents what their city represents, I would say please come help! We need help with planning, fundraising, spreading the word. Come out to one of our events…we put the fun in fundraiser! We’re really making an impact right here in our community. It’s been 10 years of focusing on the work and that personal connections with the families we service and being accessible. People can call me direct. It’s all based on community support.”

And what better way to get in on the do-gooding, impactful action that will pawsitively affect someone’s life for the better than bringing your beloved pets to The Barkley for a photo with Santa Paws! Capture a moment that will last a lifetime this holiday season while making a wonderful difference.

The Barkley is located at 27349 Miles Road in Orange Village (Chagrin Falls mailing). The photo sessions begin at 9:00 AM and run all day through 5:00 PM on Saturday, December 6th. Free parking is available in front of the building. There’s plenty of wagging tails excited to see you there!

W.A.G.S. 4 Kids