For America’s active duty military personnel and veterans, there is a critical shortage of service dogs to meet the demand. All too often, the price for inaction ends in isolation, alcoholism, drug abuse, poverty, homelessness, and worst of all, suicide.
Veterans enrolled in our Warrior Canine TherapyTM programs learn to train future service dogs for other injured comrades. Every Paws for Purple Hearts puppy helps 40-60 of our nation’s brave warriors before being assigned permanently to a single veteran for the remainder of the dog’s life.
While other organizations rely on government funds or charge Veterans for their services, all services Paws for Purple Hearts offers are Free to Veterans. Donations from individuals & corporations ensure no Veteran will ever be turned away due to their financial situation.
In the course of their Service Dog Training, one dog will require $1,350 worth of premium food, supplements, and of course, treats for motivation while learning the 106 base commands and potentially more than 200 commands depending on the veteran’s individual needs. It is imperative our Paws for Purple Hearts Service Dogs live long and healthy lives to offset the cost of the overall training with extended service life.
Puppies are extremely vulnerable to illness, disease, parasites, and an array of potential medical issues. Paws for Purple Hearts incurs an average cost of $2,790 for each dog during training. Keeping a potential Service Dog happy and receptive to training, necessitates routine check-ups and preventive medicines. As any pet owner knows, there inevitably will a boo-boo or two along the way.
Have you ever marveled at the amazing tasks a Service Dog can accomplish for a Wounded Veteran? From opening and retrieving items out of the refrigerator or dryer to pulling a wheelchair bound warrior up a ramp, or turning on lights and touching elevator buttons. These commands compel us to recreate or travel to an appropriate location to instruct the dogs on how to properly accomplish these duties. The average bill over the course of training for each dog is more than $2,500.
The Paws for Purple Hearts business model affords Veterans that have been released from the Veterans Administration Healthcare System to continue their therapy for as long as they want at one of our facilities. The VA is a valuable partner and we are pleased to be able to help. This adds a significant cost to our infrastructure so we must optimize every dollar by improving the lives of 40-60 Veterans a year with each Service Dog in Training. It costs approximately $300,000/year to keep the doors open at our existing facilities and the same amount to open a new one.
Your generous, tax-deductible donation to Paws for Purple Hearts will improve the lives of thousands of warriors facing the visible and invisible wounds of warfare and service. You will be restoring their independence and allowing these warriors to reintegrate into society in the nation they so bravely volunteered to defend.
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The program helps not only the Veteran who receives the dog as theirs, but it also helps our healing process while we train them.
One of my treatment goals was to get better sleep. Having Lief let me feel safe, and I started sleeping better. She actually woke me from a nightmare, too... My anxiety level went down. I was not so hypervigilant when I had her.
Webb was so much help to me while I was recovering in the VA Menlo Park.... When both King and Webb came to visit, I was in heaven as I have two Bernese Mountain dogs that I hadn't seen in weeks.
Ethan, a PPH dog, showed me there is love and happiness, outside of grief and despair.
PPH was the best therapy for my husband and it brought him closer to me and our daughter
There's only one word for my PPH dog Ollie: Priceless!
Our PPH facility dog's impact has been substantial. The fact of the matter is that he boosts moral for the employees, keeps us sane, and the clients love working with him.
“Learning to be more patient and understanding. How dogs think helps me improve on trying to understand others.”
“Working with the dogs gives me piece of mind and helps me control my anxiety issues so I can lead a more productive life.”
“When I was working with Paul (dog), I stayed calm and was less irritable and more focused and open to treatment at Menlo Park VA.”
“The training helps me lower my stress level and blood pressure. The comfort I get from the dogs far out weighs the thoughts of suicide. Not one negative thought has entered by mind since I started training with the dogs.”
“The comfort of the service dogs distracts from negative thoughts.”
“The dog Leif helped me with my self-esteem. People noticed a difference in when I had her and I’m grateful to Sandra for letting me be a part of this training.”
“I looked at this program as a privilege and honor to be a small part of a dog’s life and knowing I was helping a fellow Vet.”
“The program gave me a sense of responsibility and helped me lower my isolation.”
“The Paws for Purple Hearts program gave me a renewed sense of purpose. I was “giving back” and helping another Vet who was not expecting anything in return. It helped me with anger, self-esteem and survival guilt.”
“Many of our Veterans report that the dogs help them ‘get out of their own head’ and be more present.”
“These dogs can really sense your mood. They know when you’re having a bad day. They give you companionship without judgment. Ibarra (dog) doesn’t need to know why I have the symptoms I have. He just wants to be with me.”