Paws for Purple Hearts hosts Assistance Dog Graduation

by Linda Hubbard on August 5, 2023

The Menlo Park branch of non-profit Paws for Purple Hearts hosted an Assistance Dog Graduation aboard the USS Hornet on July 22. During this special ceremony, three Assistance Dogs were placed. Service Dog Booth was placed with a forever Warrior (veteran), and Facility Dogs — Reid and Chapman — were placed to help Warriors within the Palo Alto VA Healthcare system.

Special guests Jean Gurga, Palo Alto VA Medical Director, and Melissa Puckett, Menlo Park VA Recreation Therapist Supervisor and Canine Corner Program Manager, spoke about Paws for Purple Hearts’ deep history with the Veterans Administration during the ceremony. Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed food, refreshments, and lively conversation as the new Assistance Dogs teams took their first steps together.

Paws for Purple Hearts is a national non-profit organization with the mission to help the nation’s Veterans and Active-Duty Service Members through Assistance Dogs. Paws for Purple Hearts meticulously trains Assistance Dogs to help with PTSD, TBI, and mobility assistance. Each Assistance Dog begins training at four weeks old and trains for between two and three years in preparation for placement with their forever Warrior. Throughout their training, each Service Dog-in-training helps between 40 and 60 Warriors through their one-of-a-kind program, Canine-Assisted Warrior Therapy®.

One Comment

Ardan Michael Blum August 08, 2023 at 11:41 am

This is such a wonderful program!

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