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Celebrating One Year Of Being An ADI Accredited Organization

 In General, News

On March 2, 2022, Paws for Purple Hearts celebrated its one year anniversary of being an Assistance Dogs International (ADI) Accredited Member. We are so proud of this accomplishment as it confirms to the public that a Paws for Purple Hearts Service Dog is top-notch!

What is ADI?

You may need a refresher as to what ADI is all about! In the words of our CEO, Dr. Bonita Bergin, who also originally founded ADI, “It brings together various service dog organizations to communicate with one another and share ideas.”

Assistance Dogs International (ADI) is a worldwide coalition of nonprofit organizations that raise, train and place assistance dogs. Their goals 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.
ADI helps coordinate assistance dog organizations.
ADI helps coordinate assistance dog organizations.

How did PPH become an Accredited ADI Member?

The process to become a member of ADI can be a long one. Our journey officially began in 2019 when we began the application process after being a member of the candidate program for three years. Following submission of our membership packet, two assessors visited our Virginia site to learn more about our team and our programming. To read more about our application process, check out our blog, ADI Accreditation And What It Means For PPH.

Paws for Purple Hearts is proud to display its ADI Certificate
Paws for Purple Hearts is proud to display its ADI Certificate

Why be a member?

Through our involvement in ADI, Paws for Purple Hearts has been able to access the many benefits associated with membership. One of these is access to the ABC Breeding Co-operative. This allows us to obtain puppies from other service dog organizations. Currently, we have five puppies from the co-op deployed in our Canine-Assisted Warrior Therapy® programs on the path to becoming top-notch assistance dogs to help injured Warriors. Service Dogs-in-Training Booth, Reid, Eaton, Tanklage and Lofty are all slated to graduate in 2023!  In addition, Paws for Purple Hearts has been able to contribute to conversations that impact the future of the service dog industry and to leverage ADI resources to further train our professional dog trainers, known here as “Program Instructors.”

According to our National Client Manager, Casey Koslosky, “Paws for Purple Hearts is very excited to enter our second year of ADI accreditation. We are honored to collaborate with other organizations internationally to educate the public about assistance dogs, advocate for the legal rights of people with disabilities partnered with assistance dogs, and establish guidelines and ethics for the training of these wonderful dogs.”

Eaton practices a down while visiting Warriors.
Eaton practices a down while visiting Warriors.

Next Steps

As an ADI Member, Paws for Purple Hearts has to maintain the high standards that ADI has established for service dog organizations. After five years of membership, we will have to reapply for membership and undergo another site visit from a peer organization. But until then, we will continue carrying out our mission to “provide the highest quality assistance dogs and canine-assisted therapeutic programs.”

If you would like to support us in our efforts to improve the lives of America’s Warriors, you can do so in many ways. First, share our programs with any Warriors you may know who would benefit from the healing love of a dog. You can also share about Paws for Purple Hearts with the community through word of mouth or by following us and engaging with us on social media at @paws4ph. You can also stop by your local VA and ask them to contact us to find out about how we can work with them to help their Veterans recover from PTSD or TBI.  In addition, you can contribute your time through volunteering or providing a monetary or in-kind donation.

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