Who We Are
Paws Giving Independence NFP (PGI) is a non-profit organization founded in 2008 by Bradley University undergraduate students. After working with a service dog group in Chicago, the students realized the Central Illinois community would greatly benefit from such an organization. Being physical therapy and nursing majors they called on a friend majoring in business, to help with the organization’s finances and business aspects. PGI took third place in Bradley University’s Project Springboard competition in the fall of 2008. This competition gave the founders the tools and resources they needed to move the organization forward.
The purpose of PGI is to train service dogs to physically assist people with various disabilities. Many of our dogs are rescues and come to us from various organizations throughout our community.
Dogs complete simple tasks for their owners such as picking up dropped items, turning on lights or opening doors. These tasks would be difficult or impossible for these individuals without assistance. PGI’s goal is to provide support to encourage independence for the dogs’ owners. In addition, the dogs bridge the gap between the disabled and non-disabled communities.
Similar organizations may charge between $10,000 and $15,000 for a service dog; however, PGI is different because it places its dogs free of charge. PGI’s service dogs benefit individuals with spinal cord injury, muscular dystrophy, arthritis, developmental delays, cerebral palsy, balance problems, and more. PGI is run exclusively on public donations and endowments.
PGI – Saving a life, to change a life.