Paws for Purple Hearts Achieves Accreditation by Assistance Dogs International
Penngrove, Calif. – Paws for Purple Hearts, an assistance dog program dedicated to improving the lives of America’s Warriors (Veterans and Active Duty Service Members) facing mobility challenges and trauma related conditions, is pleased to announce that it achieved accreditation by Assistance Dogs International (ADI). ADI is the leading authority in the assistance dog industry. It establishes and promotes standards of excellence in all areas of assistance dog acquisition, care, training and utilization.
During each dog’s two-plus years of training, they will participate in Paws for Purple Hearts’ industry-leading Canine-Assisted Warrior Therapy®. In this program, Paws for Purple Hearts trainers assist Warriors as they learn to train and care for service dogs-in-training. This positive interaction with dogs, under the watchful eyes of professional medical personnel, reduces PTSD and TBI symptoms. It helps suffering Warriors learn again how to trust and connect with others. They regain a sense of purpose in accomplishing a critical mission – training a life-long service companion for another comrade. Each dog in this program positively impacts the lives of 40 – 60 Warriors while it moves along the path to becoming a full-fledged assistance dog.
There are currently 26 service dogs-in-training at Paws for Purple Hearts locations in Virginia, California, Texas and Alaska. Since 2016, Paws for Purple Hearts has deployed 128 dogs for Canine-Assisted Therapy programs. Paws for Purple Hearts trains and places three different types of assistance dogs. Facility dogs operate in VA, DOD, or other healthcare institutions to welcome Warriors and their visiting families to reduce stress. Specialist therapy dogs work with a clinician to improve patient responsiveness and quality of care. Finally, service dogs are trained specifically to help an injured Warrior with mobility and or trauma-related issues.
Once accredited, an assistance dog organization(s) becomes an official member of ADI. Member organizations must complete a rigorous reaccreditation process every 5 years to comply with ADI’s Standards of Practice. ADI accreditation is a peer-review process conducted by a trained ADI assessor over a period of many days. Currently there are over one hundred ADI accredited service dog organizations in the world.
For more information about Paws for Purple Hearts or how you can donate to transform the lives of America’s heroes, visit www.pawsforpurplehearts.org.
About Assistance Dogs International
Assistance Dogs International (ADI) is a worldwide coalition of nonprofit organizations that raise, train and place assistance dogs. The objectives of Assistance Dogs International are to:
- Establish and promote standards of excellence in all areas of assistance dog acquisition, training and partnership
- Facilitate communication and learning among member organizations
- Educate the public to the benefits of Assistance Dogs and ADI membership.
About Paws for Purple Hearts
PPH’s canine-assisted therapeutic programs increase efficiency and impact by utilizing dogs that are already in the service dog training program to help provide therapy to Warriors. This innovative program created by Bonnie Bergin, inventor of the service dog concept, has allowed them to dramatically increase their reach and impact among the military and veteran population around the Nation. For more information, visit www.pawsforpurplehearts.org.
Paws for Purple Hearts
Bonnie Bergin, CEO