PPH South-Mid Region
Headquarters established in San Antonio, Texas in 2016
Our South-Mid Region Paws for Purple Hearts (PPH) team is based ‘Deep in the heart of Texas’. Texas is home to over 1.4 million Veterans and over 250,000 are in San Antonio along with over 80,000 Active-Duty personnel.
We proudly serve our nation’s Warriors from our San Antonio headquarters in a variety of ways. We provide therapy with our service dogs in training to Warrior patients of the South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS) and the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System. Through our innovative form of therapy called Canine-Assisted Warrior Therapy®, Warriors facing PTSD and TBI have an opportunity to reduce the severity of their symptoms by participating in our structured therapy sessions, during which they help prepare and train a Paws for Purple Hearts service dog that will be placed with a fellow wounded Warrior.
Beyond Texas, our region serves our nation’s Warriors in Oklahoma, Kansas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri.
- Erica Horn, Senior Program Instructor
Erica has spent the past 12 years getting to know dogs better through years of rescue dog work and fostering, training medical alert service dogs, and assisting the public with behavioral modification through consulting and private training. She joined Paws for Purple Hearts San Antonio in June of 2019 and there splits her time between training service dogs and assisting with facilitating the unique to this organization’s Canine Assisted Warrior Therapy Program. In her free time she spends every spare moment with her motley crew of rescue dogs, filling her home and office with plants and advocating for individuals to build better relationships with their dogs.
- Jenny Lunde, Program Instructor
Jenny is Program Instructor and our Client Liaison for the South-Mid Region. She has been a staff member since August 2019 after graduating from Bergin University of Canine Studies with her AS in Assistance Dog Education, and her BS in Cynology. She is connected to the military through her grandfather and father’s service with the Navy. She enjoys being able to give back to the military community through PPH’s unique Canine Assisted Warrior Therapy program. In her free time, she enjoys being outside exploring nature, traveling, wine tasting and spending time with her personal dogs, family and friends.
- Bella Pallares, Program Instructor
Bella has always been passionate about her furry friends. As a result, she has spent many years volunteering and working with animal rescues. She joined Paws for Purple Hearts San Antonio in October 2021 and spends her time training dogs who also work with veterans. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, relaxing at the lake on her paddle board, and spending time with her friends and personal furry friends.
- Dani Garroutte, Advancement Associate
Dani Garroutte is the Advancement Associate at our San Antonio, Texas location. There she educates the local community on PPH’s work and manages volunteers and fundraisers. She comes from a military background and has lived all over the country, but has called Texas home since 2015. To invite Paws For Purple Hearts Texas to your event or to make a donation to the South-Mid Region, contact Dani at [email protected]
- 2016: Established operations in South Texas.
- 2017: Opened state of the art facility and started social therapy visits at Audie L. Murphy Memorial VA Hospital, Kerrville VA Hospital, Austin VA Outpatient Clinic, and the Texas Challenge Academy.
- 2018: Commenced Canine-Assisted Warrior Therapy® sessions with Polytrauma Transitional Rehabilitation Program at Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital, the Mental Health group from the Austin VA Outpatient Clinic and the Recreational Therapy group from the Brooke Army Medical Center, Center for the Intrepid.
- 2019: Opened Social Therapy programs with a variety of groups from the Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital such as the Mental Health Outpatient Clinic, Community Living Center and Hospice and Fisher House.
- 2020: During the COVID pandemic, the Texas team began weekly Canine-Assisted Warrior Therapy® sessions with the Soldier Recovery Unit at the Brooke Army Medical Center.
- 2021: Sergeant was placed as a Service Dog and PPH San Antonio partnered with the Cavender Auto Group.
Audie L. Murphy Memorial VA Hospital
- We provide Canine Assisted Warrior Therapy®, social therapy, and informal sessions to patients in a variety of groups and programs.
- We provide social therapy to clinic mental health patients.
Brooke Army Medical Center SRU (Soldier Recovery Unit)
- We provide weekly Canine Assisted Warrior Therapy® sessions for Brooke Army Medical Center SRU.
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.
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.
Paws for Purple Hearts is the first program of its kind to offer therapeutic intervention for Veterans and active-duty military.
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.