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Get a Facility Dog

Enhance your facility’s positive and welcoming atmosphere



Step One: Initial Meeting

If you are interested in a facility 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 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 completed Facility Dog Application form .
  3. The Handler Addendum, if anyone other than the Caregiver will handle the dog in the facility.
  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]

Caring Spirits, Serving Warriors


Step Three: Interview

After the application is submitted local PPH representatives will conduct an interview, visit the facility, and visit the home of the Caregiver.


Step Four: Final Acceptance:

Shortly after the interview we will notify you if your facility is accepted for a facility dog placement.  If your application is accepted, we will request additional paperwork that will assist us in matching the appropriate dog to the facility and Caregiver. At this time, 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.


Step Five: Dog Match

Once a potential facility dog match has been identified, you will be contacted to begin finalizing ownership paperwork and to schedule the Facility Dog training course with the dog. Our intensive training course is required for the Caregiver and we will conduct separate training for any additional handlers. We may conduct training at a PPH site or 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. 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.


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.

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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