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GET A Specialist Canine Assisted Therapy Dog

Specialist Canine Assisted Therapy Dog PLACEMENT Process


Step One: Initial Meeting

If you are interested in a specialist canine assisted therapy dog, reach out to us online or via [email protected].  Our local Paws for Purple Hearts representatives will meet with you to learn more about your needs and if a PPH Specialist Therapy Dog may be appropriate for your needs.


Step Two: Complete the Application

If we feel our dogs may meet the needs of your clients, you will be invited to fill out our application, which helps us to better understand you, your clients, and how you wish to utilize the dog.

A completed application includes the following:

  1. Your photo (4×6).
  2. The completed Specialist Therapy Dog Application form .
  3. A personal letter of reference from someone other than a family member, such as a friend, colleague, or neighbor.
  4. A professional letter of reference from a colleague, professor, supervisor, or any other professional with whom you have contact.
  5. A one-page letter stating your reasons for wanting a Specialist Therapy Dog and how you feel your clients would benefit from having a specialist assistance

To send your application:

Mail a hard copy to:
Paws for Purple Hearts
Client Program Facilitator
10201 Old Redwood Hwy
Penngrove, CA 94951

or Email a scanned copy to: [email protected]

Caring Spirits, Serving Warriors


Step Three: Interview

After the application is submitted local PPH representatives will conduct an interview, visit the facility where the Specialist Therapy Dog will work, and visit to your home.


Step Four: Final Acceptance:

Shortly after the interview we will notify you if you are selected for a Specialist Therapy Dog placement.  If your application is accepted, we will request additional paperwork that will assist us in matching the appropriate dog to you and your client population. At this time, it may take up to two years or more to match you with a dog due to the high demand for Specialist Therapy Dogs and the necessity of matching each dog carefully to the needs of the client population and the personality of the handler.


Step Five: Dog Match

Once a potential Specialist Therapy Dog match has been identified, you will be contacted to begin finalizing paperwork and to schedule the Specialist Therapy Dog training course with the dog. We may conduct training at a PPH site or at your facility, depending on the circumstances. Our Specialist Therapy Dogs and training are provided free of charge; however, other expenses you may need to plan for include: transportation, housing, food, and entertainment expenses while attending the training course. After you graduate with your dog you will be responsible for the ongoing costs of caring for your new partner, which may include, but is not limited to: food, grooming, toys, other supplies, annual veterinary exam, vaccinations, and other incidental expenses.


Ongoing Support

Once a dog is placed with you, we provide ongoing support for the remainder of the working partnership.  We work in partnership with you to support the dog’s health, behavior, temperament, and training through written, phone, video, and in-person follow-up.  We have a staff member dedicated to client services available to communicate with you whenever you need advice, and we are ready to deploy our local professional trainers to consult with you and support your needs on an ongoing basis.  At a minimum, we proactively reach out for regular follow-up each month for the first six months of placement, and then annually thereafter.   We are proud to offer our clients the opportunity to become full owners of their dog, depending on the specifics of each case.  We also know that when a dog approaches retirement, it can be an uncertain and stressful time for our clients, so we give priority to our existing clients who seek a successor dog when their dog approaches retirement.

Application Request Form


We place service dogs with Service Members and Veterans facing challenges such as:

Mobility issues.  Our dogs can help with tasks such as: retrieving items, pushing buttons for elevators and doors, turning lights on/off, bracing to help move from/to wheel-chairs or to navigate stairs, plus many more.

– Diagnosed trauma-related conditions (PTSD or TBI).  Our dogs help by performing a variety of tasks specifically designed to reduce symptom severity.

Through our thorough application process, our qualified staff determines if a PPH service dog will be a fit for your specific needs.

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We Need Your Support

Donations to Paws for Purple Hearts can change a Warrior’s life from hopelessness to optimism.

Your generous, tax-deductible donation helps thousands of Warriors facing the visible and invisible wounds of war.  Our Canine Assisted Warrior Therapy helps them heal as they help others – all with the goal of raising top tier service dogs for Veterans and active duty Service Members with mobility and trauma challenges.

Donation Dollars at Work

With just $19/month gift you will ensure a future service dog has all of its vaccinations, training equipment, and of course toys to get started in their life altering education.

Your gift of any amount will be a tremendous help to our Service Dogs in Training. It costs $52/month in dog food alone for just one dog.

Paws for Purple Hearts Dogs are trained to the most exacting certification because our Veterans deserve the best, and thanks to you, they will never have to pay for any of our services. It costs more than $35,000 to raise just one dog to this high standard.

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