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About PALS

Paws for a cause in the heart of Sonoma County, CA


Transforming lives, one paw at a time.

Born out of a passion for children with disabilities and love of dogs, Paws As Loving Support (PALS) Assistance Dogs is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the human/animal bond through specially trained and certified assistance and support dogs. 


From service dogs to courthouse dogs, we take pride in matching folks with new furry PALS dogs, empowering lives, offering needed support and creating fur-ever bonds.

Image by Alexa Soh

Our story

When our founder Nancy Pierson established PALS in 2009, she set out on a mission to create a holistic organization that breeds, trains and places service dogs with children with disabilities, as well as facility dogs with professionals working closely with people with disabilities or facing unique challenges.


Soon after, PALS added new social, therapy, reading and comfort dog team training and certifications for people and their pet dogs. 2015 saw the first courthouse dog placed in the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office as a four-legged victim advocate, followed by three other pups in Santa Cruz and Sonoma County. In 2021, we launched our comfort, crisis and peer support dog teams.


We look forward to continuing to serve our local counties and matching PALS trained dogs with those who need support.

Meet the board


American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen certification

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-Intro to Incident Command System, ICS-100 certificate

International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF)-Behavioral Health Awareness certificate

National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)-Psychological First Aid (PFA) certificate

American Kennel Club evaluator (Nancy)

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