Assistance Dog Institute, Paws for Purple Hearts Program
Santa Rosa, CA
in conjunction with Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation Quality of Life Program
The Planet Dog Foundation teamed up with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation to provide a grant to the Bonnie Bergin Assistance Dog Institute in Santa Rosa, CA in support of their Paws for Purple Hearts Program. Paws for Purple Hearts engages returning wounded service men and women suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to train service dogs. Working with the dogs serves as a therapeutic intervention for PTSD soldiers, providing profound emotional benefits. The trained service dogs are then placed with other returned military men and women who have sustained paraplegia or quadriplegia as a result of combat. The ultimate goal of the Paws for Purple Hearts program is to create a national network to serve veterans with disabilities across the entire country. Paws for Purple Hearts is a cooperative project between Assistance Dog Institute and veterans hospitals and rehabilitation centers. The pilot program is being established at the Walter Reed Medical Center, where the Planet Dog Foundation has also supported therapy dog visitation and the development of new service dog equipment designed with wounded combat veterans in mind.