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Service Dog Pups Training in San Antonio to Help Injured Veterans

 In News, PPH Blog, PPH San Antonio

Paws for Purple Hearts Team San Antonio has been quite active since our grand opening in September!

We have been settling in nicely with the help of our great partners at Port San Antonio. We spent a great deal of time and effort to help prepare service dog Ann for her assignment to a Veteran inFairbanks, Alaska. We have also been working with service dog-in-training Noah, who is showing great progress. And just as exciting – we recently welcomed our three newest four-legged service dog trainees!

This fall and winter, we joined together with our Fairbanks, Alaska team to help ad the finishing touches to Ann’s extensive training as she prepared for her permanent assignment to a Veteran in Fairbanks. We are overjoyed to report that it worked out wonderfully; Ann successfully completed all her preparation and training and she has now joined Veteran Jeff Bizarro in a great new partnership together in Alaska.

While Ann was spending her summer in San Antonio, she worked with our program instructors to learn how to get around a big city and become more familiar with the many sights and sounds she would encounter in that very busy and potentially distracting urban environment.  She experienced and became comfortable with such new experiences as the Riverwalk river cruise, carriages with horses, automobile, bus and truck traffic and of course, cowboy hats!  Noah, much younger and less experienced, came along and learned a lot from the more seasoned Ann about how a true service dog should behave in public.  He took a lot of advice from Ann, and now shows great potential to help reduce the symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as he continues along the path toward becoming a full-fledged Paws for Purple Hearts service dog for a wounded Warrior.

Just a month ago, service dog-in-training Schatzie joined our San Antonio team.  She flew in from the Bergin College of Canine Studies in Rohnert Park, California to join our efforts to help active duty Service Members and Veterans.  You may recognize her as “orange collar” from the University’s puppy cam.  Schatzie is already making a difference.  She has provided social therapy to dozens of Veterans at several VA facilities in South Texas.  She is growing into a wonderful young pup with great confidence!

We are very excited to announce our two newest recruits, Rusty and Lucy! They are from a program called Project2Heal located in North Carolina.  We are happy to have them in our Canine Assisted Therapy program at our facility.  They have also joined us for social therapy visits to Audie L. Murphy Memorial VA Hospital, and Kerrville VA Medical Center right here in South Texas.

PPH Noah with Kriser’s Donations
PPH Noah with the wonderful donations from our friends at Kriser’s Natural Pet Food, Stone Oak, Texas

A big shout out of gratitude goes to Kriser’s Natural Pet Food in Stone Oak, TX!  They started our pups Rusty and Lucy off right with a wonderful donation of snacks and toys!  If you would like to help supply our puppies with fun toys and treats as well, you can find a link to our Amazon wish list devoted to the addition of our new pups here!  Our pups in training greatly appreciate all the love and support of their puppy raising families, volunteers, and your gracious donations!

We are excited to see what 2018 will bring!  On behalf of Team San Antonio, we wish you and your family and friends a very Happy New Year!

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