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Marion County Teen Thanks 'Paws 4 People' For Changing His Life

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FAIRMONT -

We have all heard the saying, "A dog is a man's best friend."

You may never know how true that statement is until you meet a dog that comes from the program "Paws 4 People."

Kingsley is not just Alex Keefover's dog, it's his best friend.

"He is wonderful. He is a big step in my independence," Keefover said.

Kingsley can open and close doors, make Alex smile, and bring him the things he may drop.

"Alex has cerebral palsy and he drops things a lot. Kingsley picks them up and gives it back to him whenever he drops anything," said Jennifer Keefover, Alex's mother. "He can turn light switches on and off that Alex can't reach."

Paws 4 People aims to help veterans, inmates, and people with disabilities.

"We provide an extra leash on life and independence for Alex and clients like him," said Mark Reynolds, Paws 4 People.

Alex said the program changes lives.

"I've had a lot more freedom to be a teenager," Alex said.

"It makes my life way easier because he doesn't have to have someone else, not necessarily me, but anybody there with him all the time," Jennifer said.

Paws 4 People held a ribbon cutting for its new thrift store in downtown Fairmont. All proceeds will go back to the program.

"Our thrift store provides monies and donations are provided," Reynolds said. "The monies provide for another dog for another child."

Joshua Gregor is next on that list.

"He's hearing impaired and he also has a lot of other medical issues. He is tube fed through the G-tube 12 hours a day," said Tracey Gregor. "His dog will be trained for hearing alerts and medic alerts. The dog will wake me at night when he needs help."

Alex encourages people to take advantage of the new thrift store. He said every penny spent goes to a good cause.

"It literally changed my life," he said.

The Paws 4 People thrift store is located at 309 Cleveland Avenue in Fairmont.

For more information on Paws 4 People, visit its website.