Executive Director of Outreach Pawsabilities
Our organization was founded in 2018 in response to a recognized need to provide opportunities for low-income families, troubled teenagers and veterans to obtain service dogs. Our founder, Kim Mikesell, is an AKC certified evaluator, certified obedience trainer, and certified service and therapy dog trainer with two decades of experience in training and placing service dogs. Through her efforts, Ms. Mikesell has experienced firsthand the life-changing benefits of service dogs.
Kim has loved animals all her life but didn’t truly understand what dogs were capable of until a life-changing incident. After becoming involved with drugs Kim spent some time in prison where everything changed. During her prison stay Kim vowed to turn her life around and earned her AA in psychology, as well as got extremely involved in the dog program and learned to train service and therapy dogs.
This is really where Kim’s love for training dogs flourished and where she realized that she wanted to not only help people but help dogs get second chances too.
Fortunately, she had also become starkly aware that the vast majority of those who could benefit from service dogs are denied that opportunity due to the significant costs and waiting lists involved with acquiring a properly trained service dog. Despite their numerous benefits, the cost of a service dog — ranging from the initial purchase to the long-term care — can be costly.
Realizing this, Outreach Pawsabilities was created to provide quality trained service dogs to those who can’t afford them.