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Paws for Purple Hearts Team Alaska

Serving the Northwest Region since 2015

About Us

The Paws for Purple Hearts (PPH) team in Alaska operates in a unique location.  Alaska has more Veterans per capita than any other state.  Alaska is home to over 70,000 Veterans and approximately 20,000 active duty Service Members, comprising a significant population of potential service dog recipients and canine assisted therapy participants. The Fairbanks area is home to Fort Wainwright , Eielson Air Force Base, Clear Air Force Base, and Fort Greely.  To the south of us, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson is located in Anchorage.

We’ve been in operation since 2015, and celebrated the Grand Opening of our brand new facility in November of 2016.  We are located in Fairbanks which has over 8,500 Veterans in and around the city.  To be able to provide our service dog training canine assisted therapy (SDTCAT) to America’s Warriors is an honor and a privilege.  Our therapy programs reach Veterans and Active Duty Service Members at our local rescue mission, VA, prison and military installations within the state.

In 2019 we expanded permanently to Anchorage. We are serving the Chris Kyle Patriots Hospital and VA Domiciliary.

Beyond Alaska, we provide support to assistance dog recipients throughout our region to ensure a successful lifelong partnership when we provide a service dog, facility dog or Specialist Therapy Dog.

NORTHWEST REGION

  • Serves Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming.
  • Headquarters: Fairbanks, Alaska.
  • 3304 International Street, Unit A, Fairbanks, Alaska 99701
  • (907) 290-7166
Northwest Service Region Service Area: Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

Helpful Links

Our Team

Staff

  • Becky : Advancement Associate – Manages all fundraising opportunities and volunteer program
  • Susan : Fairbanks Program Instructor – Provide PPH’s unique Canine Assisted Warrior Therapy to active-duty and Veteran military personnel in Fairbanks and the surrounding areas
  • Debbie : Anchorage Program Instructor – Provide PPH’s unique Canine Assisted Warrior Therapy to active-duty and Veteran military personnel in Anchorage and the surrounding areas
  • Melissa : Anchorage Program Instructor – Provide PPH’s unique Canine Assisted Warrior Therapy to active-duty and Veteran military personnel in Anchorage and the surrounding

Accomplishments

  • September 2016 – Started canine assisted therapeutic intervention programs
  • October 2016 – Opened dedicated facility in Fairbanks
  • March 2017 – Started canine assisted therapy program at the Mission
  • May 2017 – Started canine assisted therapy program at Fairbanks Correctional Center
  • December 2017 – First Northwest Region Service Dog Graduation
  • August 2018 – Started Canine Assisted Therapy in Anchorage.

Dogs

To see pictures of the important work (and adventurous lives) of our service-dogs-in-training, check out our Facebook.
Paws for Purple Hearts Fairbanks Client training class Dec 2017
Paws for Purple Hearts Fairbanks Client training class Dec 2017

Our Partners

Ft Wainright USO (United Service Organizations) Center – Once a month 1 hour social therapy on Ft Wainwright USO with active duty military and their families. The USO provides morale and recreational services to members of the US Military and their families.

Denali Center – Once a month group sessions for Veterans and patients at the Denali Center. The Denali Center is a comprehensive short- and long-term care facility for retirement and assisted living.

Eielson MEDDAC – Visits to airmen in various squadrons with Family Advocacy. About twice a month or as per requested for social therapy. Family Advocacy directly provides or coordinates a range of services for individuals and families impacted by violence, abuse and neglect.

UAF Mental Health Services Facility – Weekly group therapy sessions on Thursdays open to all Veterans and Service Members (even if not affiliated with the University). The Student Health and Counseling Center is a place where students may receive health care, counseling, health education, and assistance with student health insurance

Fairbanks Rescue Mission –  Every Friday we provide canine assisted therapy at Fairbanks Rescue Mission, working with Veterans experiencing homelessness. The Veterans have gotten to work with each dog and we often get requests for specific pups to bring in on Fridays. The Veterans have gathered dog toys and a dog bed, putting together a “dog corner” for our visits. Bringing the dogs to the Rescue Mission every Friday is great socialization for our service dogs in training. They get to work with many different men on everyday tasks.

Chris Kyle Patriots Hospital – Weekly therapy sessions. Chris Kyle Patriots Hospital is an intensive, holistic treatment program dedicated to first responders, military service members and veterans needing treatment for addiction and/or PTSD, and service member dependents for addiction.

Fairbanks Correctional Center – Twice a month we provide canine assisted therapy to Veterans who are incarcerated at the Fairbanks Correctional Center. During this time, the dogs provide a much-needed break to inmates and a breath of fresh air. The Veterans use this time to learn new skills as well as play with the dogs.

Alaska VA Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans (DCHV) Program – Weekly therapy sessions at the VA Dom. The Dom Offers a structured setting that includes residential care for sheltered and unsheltered Veterans with multiple challenges, illnesses or rehabilitative care needs.

Judy, Buck, Russ attend a memorial event at Eielson Airforce Base
Judy, Buck, Russ attend a memorial event at Eielson Airforce Base
Russell, Alameda, Judy and Buck pose for a picture
Russell, Alameda, Judy and Buck pose for a picture

Caring Spirits, Serving Warriors

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.

Eligibility

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 such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (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.

HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS

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.

Contact Us

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