GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Paws With A Cause returns as this year as one of four charity partners that will benefit from the Amway River Bank Run.

The race, which attracts 10,000 runners to downtown Grand Rapids, will donate a portion of its registration fees to whichever charity partner registrants select.

Paws With A Cause is a national nonprofit that pairs assistance and service dogs with people who have disabilities.

“It can be anything from opening a door for somebody who maybe uses a wheelchair to retrieving their medication across the room or another space in the house,” said CEO Michele Suchovsky.

(May 9, 2023)
Paws With A Cause trains assistance dogs and pairs them with owners. (May 9, 2023)

Runners can also raise additional funds for the charity. Adam Russo said this is the first year he’s running the race for charity.

“A lot of people don’t understand the impact that these dogs can have, and Paws does an amazing job at training their dogs,” Russo said.

Dogs are trained for nearly 2.5 years before they are placed with a recipient. Their training costs upward of $35,000.

“We have trained and placed over 3,200 assistance dogs in our 40-plus years,” Suchovsky said. “We’ve also started to place facility dogs with schools and hospitals. So we really impact thousands of people every year with our dogs.”

The River Bank Run is Saturday.