MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A lot of people in the Twin Cities are animal lovers, and this weekend will give many the chance to use that passion to help people living with disabilities.

Helping Paws trains service dogs who will one day be put on the job to help people retrieve objects, open doors, and otherwise live their lives to the fullest.

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The organization has a foster home program set up to help them get these animals trained. They’re hoping to get 18 dogs placed in foster homes.

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“Our foster homes are the heart and soul of our organization,” said service dog trainer and instructor Maureen Kleckner.

Foster parents for these dogs are expected to attend training sessions once a week for a few hours, and to provide food and a temporary home for the golden retrievers and labrador retrievers for about 2 years while the dogs undergo training. Helping Paws pays for spaying and neutering and other medical expenses, Kleckner says.

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The Foster Home Open House is Saturday at the Helping Paws Training Center in Hopkins, from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m.