Due to the wildfires in Northern California, our Program and Administrative offices located in Sonoma County, CA may be delayed in responding to your inquiries by phone, email and website submission. Thank you for your patience during this time.

We are glad to report that all staff and dogs are safe at both Paws for Purple Hearts and at the Bergin University of Canine Studies.

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Transforming Lives
Paws for Purple Hearts is transforming the way Veterans with PTSD and TBI receive relief from symptoms with our unique Warrior Canine TherapyTM and training approaches. Warriors Helping Warriors! Paws for Purple Hearts has completed two years of a four year study working with the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is already validating our approach.
A NEW BATTLE BUDDY
Paws for Purple Hearts is dedicated to improving the lives of America’s warriors facing mobility impairment challenges and trauma-related conditions such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and Military Sexual Trauma (MST) by providing the highest quality service dogs and Warrior Canine TherapyTM (also referred to as Canine Assisted Therapeutic Intervention - CATI).
Get Involved!
Paws for Purple Hearts runs solely on donations by individuals, corporations and foundations. We do not accept Federal or State dollars. Our generous donors and volunteers make our programs possible to Veterans free of charge.

Serving Those Who Have Served Us

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.

THE VETERAN'S NEW MISSION

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.

Free Services to All Veterans

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.

Donations Help With:

Food and Dietary Supplements

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.

Medicine, Vaccines, & Veterinary

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.

Training Equipment & Simulation Materials

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.

Opening New Doors & Keeping Them Open

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.

Become a Volunteer

Want to show your support for our nation’s military heroes?  Volunteer with Paws for Purple Hearts at one of our five facilities nation-wide or at one of the numerous Veterans hospitals or Veterans centers near you.  We grew to 172 volunteers that contributed over 8,757 hours covering the entire spectrum of tasks supporting our programs.

We Need Your Support

Donation to Paws for Purple Hearts can change a warrior’s vision of life from hopelessness to optimism through the loving eyes of a faithful companion.

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.

Warriors Helping Warriors

Our next event:

City of La Mirada’s Salute to Veterans

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Paws for Purple Hearts Success

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Lives Directly Improved

Testimonials and Quotes

  • The program helps not only the Veteran who receives the dog as theirs, but it also helps our healing process while we train them.

    A PPH Veteran-trainer
  • 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.

    Tim T. PPH Veteran-trainer
  • 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.

    Bill Dable Combat Infantry Veteran
  • Ethan, a PPH dog, showed me there is love and happiness, outside of grief and despair.

    A PPH Warrior Canine Trainer
  • PPH was the best therapy for my husband and it brought him closer to me and our daughter

    Wife of a PPH Participant
  • There's only one word for my PPH dog Ollie:  Priceless!

    Rob S, a PPH Service Dog Recipient
  • 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.

    Mental Health Employee
  • “Learning to be more patient and understanding. How dogs think helps me improve on trying to understand others.”

    Jeff
  • “Working with the dogs gives me piece of mind and helps me control my anxiety issues so I can lead a more productive life.”

    Monty
  • “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.”

    Kawika
  • “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.”

    John
  • “The comfort of the service dogs distracts from negative thoughts.”

    Nick
  • “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.”

    Tim
  • “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.”

    Frank
  • “The program gave me a sense of responsibility and helped me lower my isolation.”

    Dennis
  • “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.”

    John
  • “Many of our Veterans report that the dogs help them ‘get out of their own head’ and be more present.”

    Caroline Wyman Chief of Recreation Therapy Service at Palo Alto VA states
  • “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.”

    John Crofut 71 years old, Vietnam Vet

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