Paws for Purple Hearts dramatically improves the lives of our nation’s Warriors facing mobility impairments and challenges such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) resulting from service-related stressors.
We provide Canine-Assisted Warrior Therapy® in which we teach Warriors to train service dogs for their injured comrades- hence our motto: Warriors helping Warriors®.
Our highly structured academic and hands-on therapy sessions are led by our program instructors and help mitigate the symptoms of PTSD and other trauma-related conditions. We conduct sessions at our facility and at partner organization sites like VA and DoD facilities including the Audie Murphy Memorial VA Hospital, Austin VA Outpatient Clinic, and Center for the Intrepid at Brooke Army Medical Center. Once trained, the dogs are placed as Service Dogs with Veterans who have mobility or trauma-related issues.
Paws for Purple Hearts also provides Specialist Therapy Dogs and Facility Dogs to organizations and health and human service professionals who work with Veterans and Service Members to provide therapeutic benefit and improve quality of care. All of Paws for Purple Hearts’ programs and dogs are provided at no charge.
We are the world’s only service dog organization for wounded Service Members and Veterans partnered with the prestigious Bergin College of Canine Studies, which is led by the inventor of the service dog concept, Dr. Bonnie Bergin. Our unique relationship with Bergin University gives us unmatched, unique access to the best dog trainers, the highest quality dogs, and the latest cutting edge dog training and handling research.
1. Canine-Assisted Warrior Therapy®
We developed an innovative form of therapy to reduce the symptoms of PTSD and TBI in which we teach Warriors to train service dogs for their injured comrades – Warriors Helping Warriors®. Formally known as “service dog training canine assisted therapeutic intervention,” our method is being utilized at many facilities around the country to reduce the severity of trauma related symptoms. Our highly structured academic and hands-on therapy sessions are led by our highly trained instructors. We conduct sessions at our facilities and at partner organization sites (e.g., VA, DOD). Our therapy is most effective when the partner organization provides a clinical professional to monitor and document patient progress.
2. Service Dog
We pair meticulously bred, lovingly raised, and thoroughly trained service dogs with their ideal Warrior recipients using Bergin’s scientifically rigorous matching methodology. Warrior and service dog meet during Client Training where they learn to live and work together to form a lifelong partnership. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to apply.
3. Specialist Therapy Dog
We provide therapy dogs to health/human service specialists (e.g., psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, therapists, social workers, nurses) to utilize during clinical work to provide therapeutic benefit and improve care quality. We train the specialist to care for and handle the dog to maximize beneficial effectiveness. We provide further support when needed.
4. Facility Dog
We provide dogs to roam VA, DoD or similar facilities providing a friendly face to engage patients, their families and facility staff to help support a positive and welcoming
atmosphere. Each dog is assigned to a host organization contact person we train to carry out routine dog handling and care. We provide further support when needed.
Puppy Petters – Stimulate puppy neural development & socialization (when puppies available).
Puppy Parents – Provide a nurturing, supportive environment during evenings.
General Supporters – Assist with general tasks around our facility.
All our services are complimentary to Service Members, Veterans, and their families. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that relies on volunteer and donor support.