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Local vets back canine therapy program

Paws for Purple Hearts connects veterans and active military members with a highly trained canine companion.

Local Legion members are showing their support for a one-of-a-kind program that connects war-impacted veterans and active military members with the devoted companionship of a dog. 

Recently, the American Legion Post 105 hosted Paws for Purple Hearts (PPH), the first program of its kind to offer canine assisted therapy. 

PPH is a non-profit organization that was launched in 2006. It provides veterans and active-duty military members with canine assisted therapy, service and specialized therapy dogs, and dog obedience training. 

Through the program, service dogs are placed and work with service members and veterans who are experiencing mobility issues or who have been diagnosed with trauma issues. 

According to PPH, the highly trained service and therapy dogs are purpose bred and selected for temperament and physical characteristics. Generally, golden retriever and labrador breeds are preferred and the program suggests it costs $35,000 to raise one dog to the proper standard.  

During the recent visit at the Legion, PPH program instructors Megan Frankie and Olivia Hughes put on a demonstration with service dogs Schatzie and Oakley.

A donation of $1,000 was also presented to the organization. The funds were specifically directed to the PPH’s canine-assisted therapeutic program for veterans. Several local detachments contributed to the donation, including:

  • The American Legion Post 105
  • American Legion Auxiliary Unit 105
  • American Legion Riders Chapter 105
  • Sons of the American Legion Squadron 105
  • Marine Corps League
  • General J. C. Breckinridge San Francisco Detachment 10
  • San Mateo County Veterans Service Office

For more information on PPH, click here