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Get a Facility Dog

Enhance your facility’s positive and welcoming atmosphere

Caring Spirits, Serving Warriors



Step One: Initial Inquiry

If you are interested in a Paws for Purple Hearts (PPH) Facility Dog, reach out to us online through the “FACILITY DOG APPLICATION REQUEST FORM“ (located at the bottom of this webpage). Our team will connect with you to learn more about your Facility’s needs and if a PPH Facility Dog may be appropriate for your Facility. We will also work with you to identify who may be the most appropriate person to care for and handle the dog in the Facility (known as the Caregiver).


Step Two: Complete the Application

If we feel our dogs may meet the needs of your Facility, the designated Caregiver will be invited to fill out our application, which helps us to better understand the Caregiver, the Facility, the population, how the dog will be used, and if any additional people will handle the dog in the Facility.

A completed application includes the following:

  1. The Caregiver’s photo (4×6).
  2. The Caregiver’s resume.
  3. The completed Facility Dog Application.
    1. The Handler Information Form, if anyone other than the Caregiver will handle the dog in the Facility. All Facility Dog Handlers must attend formal training with Paws for Purple Hearts in order to qualify as an alternate handler.
  4. A personal letter of reference from someone other than a family member, such as a friend, colleague, or teacher of the Caregiver.
  5. A professional letter of reference from a colleague, teacher, supervisor, or any other professional with whom the Caregiver has contact.
  6. A one-page letter stating the Caregiver’s reasons for wanting a Facility dog and how the Facility population would benefit from a Facility dog.

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]


Step Three: Interview

After a successful application review by our staff, the next steps in the process begin as we send you six social style forms (to be completed by people you select), request photos & videos of your home and work, more information on any household pets (if applicable), as well as any additional documentation needed from you or your Facility. Once we receive these items, we will schedule an interview.


Step Four: Final Acceptance

Shortly after the interview, we will notify you if your Facility is accepted for a Facility dog placement. At this time, you will be placed on the Waitlist*. It may take up to two years or more to match your Facility with a dog due to the high demand for Facility dogs and the necessity of matching each dog carefully to the needs of the Facility population and the personality of the Caregiver. *Note: there will be routine follow-up with staff to update the application after acceptance to the waitlist in order to keep all information up to date.


Step Five: Dog Match

Once a potential Facility Dog match has been identified, you will be contacted to begin paperwork and invited to attend the team training course with the dog. At this time, we will conduct a home visit too. Our intensive training course is required for the Caregiver and any additional handlers. Training will be conducted at a PPH site, with field trips and training sessions at your Facility (depending on the circumstances). Our Facility Dogs and training are provided free of charge; however, other expenses the Caregiver may need to plan for include: transportation, housing, food, and entertainment expenses while attending the training course.


Ongoing Support

After the Caregiver graduates with the dog, the Caregiver or the Facility will be responsible for the ongoing costs of caring for the Facility Dog, which may include, but is not limited to: food, grooming, toys, other supplies, annual veterinary exam, vaccinations, and other incidental expenses.

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 nine months of placement, and then annually thereafter. We do require in-person visits post-graduation, which is the financial responsibility of the client. In addition, 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, 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.


We place facility dogs with facility managers who work in care facilities that serve Service Members, Veterans, and/or military families. They are also placed with counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, occupational therapists (and other specialists) who serve Service Members and/or Veterans and wish to integrate a dog into their clients’ treatment plans. Facility dogs provide invaluable benefits to the populations they serve, but they do not meet the legal definition of a service dog and do not have public access rights outside of their assigned facility. Facilities must serve at least 50% of military-connected individuals.

Our Long History

Paws for Purple Hearts is the first program of its kind to offer therapeutic intervention for Veterans and active-duty military.

Therapeutic Intervention

Under the guidance of PPH instructors, Service Members engage with specially-bred Golden Retriever and Labrador puppies.


PTSD patient-trainers must overcome their emotional and affective numbness in order to heighten their tone of voice, bodily movements.

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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