At PPH, we love our volunteers! They are crucial to our warriors, our program, and to helping mold our world-class Paws for Purple Hearts service dogs. While we do try to use warriors to work with puppies at a PPH Center, sometimes it’s not always possible. That’s when we turn to local communities near our PPH centers to pitch in with the pups. We have a few important roles, so please consider volunteering at a PPH Center near you.
A PPH Puppy Petter is a volunteer trained to handle our very special service dog puppies. Petting begins the very day the puppies are whelped, and follows a precise protocol. Every inch of the puppy’s body is stroked, and the puppy is carefully handled in ways that instill confidence and positive associations with handling. Touch facilitates a puppy’s neurological development, which prepares them to be more successful service dogs.
Therapeutic touch is an important aspect of healing from trauma, too. So while helping puppies develop, the PPH Puppy Petters reap their own therapeutic benefit from the relaxing, nurturing interaction of petting young puppies. Every PPH Warrior who participates in a Paws for Purple Hearts program is trained to become a PPH Puppy Petter.
Puppies grow quickly and become too large and wriggly to be held. Then, it’s time for playground activities like playing ball, running through agility courses, scent detection exercises, and good old-fashioned puppy play. Playground monitors are needed at this point to stop any rough puppy play.
Again, we aim to use PPH Warriors as PPH Puppy Petters or PPH Puppy Playground Monitors, but it’s not always possible. If you’re near a PPH Center and you’d like to join in the puppy fun, please complete the following online application.
What are PPH Puppy Parents? PPH Puppy Parents are vital to the development of a service dog. Puppies with basic skills need puppy parents for to learn the ropes of household living. Even though puppies in service dog training have already spent nights and weekends with trainers, they still need to learn what life is like in a house outside of its training routine and personnel. For a few months, a PPH pup-in-training goes home with his or her PPH Puppy Parents and learns new situations, new people, and very important socialization.
PPH Puppy Parents are special people. They are dog lovers. They love our PPH mission. They respect the unique needs of living with pups in training. They are generous and selfless. They are committed to helping shape a highly capable service dog for a service member or veteran in need.
Does this sound like you?
PPH Puppy Parents pick up their PPH Pup-in-Training each evening and drop the pup back off at the PPH Center each business day. The PPH Pup-in-Training is just like another member of the family and accompanies the PPH Puppy Parent on all outings.
We strongly encourage outpatient active duty service members and veterans who complete Puppy Parent training to PPH Puppy Parents. Since it’s not always possible to use PPH Warrior Puppy Parents, from time to time, we need help from the local community.
Interested in Becoming a PPH Puppy Parent?
Please complete the following online application and we’ll contact you. If you are a good fit, PPH Puppy Parents are required to attend introductory and bimonthly classes which include training and field trips to public settings.
We are very grateful for help in a variety of areas. Whether at one of our facilities, at a customer site, or at another location or event, there are a number of things you can do to help out.
Here are some ideas:
Please just fill out the form below to let us know how you would like to help!