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SAN DIEGO TEAM

Headquarters for the PPH Southwest Region

About Us

Our Southwest Region is headquartered in San Diego, CA, famous for its vibrant military community.  The perfect location for Paws for Purple Hearts (PPH), it is home to Naval Base San Diego, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, plus several additional military facilities and famous museums celebrating military history like the USS Midway aircraft carrier museum.

We’ve been in operation since 2016, and celebrated the Grand Opening of our newly renovated facility in April of 2018. Our location started in the home of two of our trainers with just two dogs, and has since transformed into a bustling site in Sorrento Valley. We are proud to provide Canine-Assisted Warrior Therapy® (CAWT), which can help reduce the symptoms of PTSD and TBI through structured, positive interaction with our service dogs in training.  We provide this life-changing therapy to Veterans and Active Duty Service Members in San Diego and Los Angeles area VA facilities. We also visit several local private Veteran service organization facilities where our wonderful dogs provide social therapy to Warriors on the road to recovery.

California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico 5550 Oberlin Drive Suite B San Diego CA 92121-1738

Southwest Region

Helpful Links

Our Team

Staff

  • Kerry: Regional Director
    Kerry is the regional director of the southwest region where she oversees operations at the facility, handles public relations, and manages fundraising and donor relations. She has developed incredible connections and experience in the San Diego area for her entire life. She graduated from San Diego State University and her extensive background in the hospitality industry, marketing, and nonprofit management has made her a key asset to the team here.
  • Tamara: Senior Program Instructor
    Tamara manages puppy parents and trains service dogs. She has been a staff member since May 2015 after graduating from California State University Channel Islands and completing the Service Dog Summer Seminar with Bergin University of Canine Studies. In her free time, Tamara enjoys spending time with her pet dog Ginger and visiting the beach to enjoy her paddleboard.
  • Selah: Senior Program Instructor
    Selah manages our dog health/wellness and trains service dogs. She has been a staff member since June 2016 after graduating from Bergin University of Canine Studies. In Selah’s free time she enjoys running, doing puzzles, and being a dog mom to her two adorable dogs.
  • Kaitlyn: Program Instructor
    Kaitlyn manages our CAWT® sessions and trains service dogs. She has been a staff member since August 2020 after graduating from Bergin University of Canine Studies. In Kaitlyn’s free time she enjoys spending time with her pet dog Marshall while enjoying a good book or playing video games.
  • Randi: Advancement Associate
    Randi manages our volunteers and fundraises for Paws for Purple Hearts. She has been a staff member since May 2021 after graduating from Colorado Mesa University. In her free time, you can find her at the beach, at a coffee shop, or enjoying her new home in California. To invite Paws For Purple Hearts San Diego to your event or to make a donation to the Southwest Region, contact Randi at [email protected]

Connect with us

For updates on events and to see pictures of our service-dogs-in-training, check out our Facebook and Instagram.

TIMELINE

  • 2016: Commenced operations in Southern California.
  • 2017: Began CAWT programs at Long Beach VA and San Diego VA, and began social therapy program at Veterans Village of San Diego.
  • 2018: Opened state of the art facility; commenced CAWT at Wounded Warrior Battalion – West, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, CA.
  • 2019: Started Warrior pet dog obedience training and adopted two guinea pigs to join the team as part of the training experience for the dogs.
  • 2020: During the COVID pandemic, conducted Facebook Live to interact with the Warriors.
  • 2021: Hosted our first Service Dog Graduation; #pphDrew, trained by Selah, was placed as a Service Dog; began CAWT program at Veterans Justice Outreach in Orange County.
FOR UPDATES ON EVENTS AND TO SEE PICTURES OF OUR SERVICE-DOGS-IN-TRAINING, CHECK OUT OUR FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM.

Our Partners

VA Long Beach Healthcare System

  • We provide Canine-Assisted Warrior Therapy® sessions to several groups of Veteran participants at our facility in partnership with VA staff.

VA San Diego Healthcare System

  • We provide Canine-Assisted Warrior Therapy® sessions to Veterans in an inpatient mental health unit to help reduce stress and promote healing.

Veterans Justice Outreach in Orange County

  • We provide Canine-Assisted Warrior Therapy® sessions to Veterans at the justice outreach center that was donated by American Legion Riders to provide assistance to Veterans in need.

Vi at La Jolla Village Retirement Community

  • We conduct social therapy with Veterans living in the center and in hospice to reduce stress and provide comfort to Warriors there.
The San Diego facility opened and hosted a Grand Opening.
San Diego hosted our first Service Dog Graduation

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 (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.

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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