Paws for Purple Hearts places its first Facility Dog in Texas!
Success in Texas
Paws for Purple Hearts (PPH) is proud to announce we are wrapping up our first assistance dog matching (“client training”) course in Texas. We will place our very first Facility Dog in Texas this week on Valentine’s Day! Our Facility Dog will be the newest member of the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) team serving with the Texas Military Department at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas.
The course required quite a bit of preparation and coordination. PPH team members from our San Antonio, Virginia and Rohnert Park, California offices stepped up and worked together with our client and the helpful staff at the Texas Military Department to make this effort successful.
At the center of all this activity is Facility Dog Patsy, who has been training for over two years in Virginia. Her friendly, calm and mellow disposition led to her selection as the perfect candidate to carry out a very important mission. As a Paws for Purple Hearts Facility Dog, Patsy will roam the halls, common areas, and counseling rooms of the SHARP facility to help foster a welcoming and home-like atmosphere. As part of a dog and handler team, she will engage with survivors of domestic and sexual violence, their supportive family members, and SHARP team staff to lift moods and boost morale. With a gentle nudge on the leg or a well-timed outstretched paw, Patsy will provide encouragement to help survivors get the most out of the counseling and therapy available to them. Patsy has been training specifically to proactively engage survivors by performing specific supportive actions, and to carry out certain helpful tasks upon special commands from her handler. In addition to their important and life-changing work at Camp Mabry, Patsy and her handler will travel around the region to promote awareness and prevention, and to conduct training on behalf of the SHARP program.
Training Courses for Dogs and Handlers
The Paws for Purple Hearts client training experience is a two-week intensive course led by Paws for Purple Hearts instructors. The goal of the course is to introduce each dog to its new handler and to teach each handler how to maximize the potential of their new canine partner. Paws for Purple Hearts has the advantage of being able to leverage its unique relationship with the Bergin College of Canine Studies to ensure its clients benefit from the latest dog training and handling best practices. At the end of the client training process, our new human-canine teams are recognized during a special graduation ceremony held to honor their significant accomplishment.
Paws for Purple Hearts is proud to do its part. To do your part and help make more great stories like this possible, please consider making a generous donation today. If you are in the Austin, Texas area, please join us to celebrate the graduation of our newest team on Valentine’s Day at Camp Mabry in Austin. The ceremony takes place at the Texas Military Forces Museum and starts at 3 pm. Please check out our flyer for more information. If you would like to contribute your time to help Paws for Purple Hearts on an ongoing basis, please consider volunteering with our San Antonio-based team.