On Tuesday, September 22nd, Washington Salute held a virtual Walking Dogs with Wes Martin and Paws for Purple Hearts event via ZOOM featuring program directors and participants of Paws for Purple Hearts across the nation. The event was in celebration of National Dog Week (Sunday, September 21 through Saturday, September 26), and was focused on advocating for Washington Salute's 501c not-for-profit partner Paws for Purple Hearts who work operate a variety of programs including Canine Assisted Therapy and a wide scale of assistance dog placement programs for warriors across the United States.
Starting Washington Football Team Guard, Wes Martin, joined the call to learn about the programs and include his own rescues in the virtual event. Martin, a second year veteran with the team, notably started his own 501c not-for-profit dog rescue organization in Ohio with his mother and wife in 2018, Brave Breed Rescue. The event began with Martin discussing his own background rescuing dogs, his organization's inception, and his appreciation being included in the event.
The hour-long event featured National Advancement Officer, Kerri Anderson, discussing Paws for Purple Hearts primary initiatives training different types of therapy dogs across the country (including but not limited to facility dogs and service dogs) as well as unique programs including Canine Assisted Therapy which trains warriors to train service dogs for other warriors - "the gift that keeps on giving." Program Directors with Paws for Purple Hearts Alissa & Erica were introduced with their service dogs in-training to describe the intrinsic process of preparing canines for warriors in need. Victim Advocate Coordinator, Heather, was then brought on to discuss her role with Facility Dog Patsy (streaming from the Texas Military Department) to discuss the therapeutic assistance Patsy plays in her building touching thousands of service members a week. The event concluded with program participants Angela and Eric who both have received service dogs and advocate all service members and veterans in need looking into programming, and anyone that can support their mission!
The event concluded with Martin unequivocally prepared to visit a Paws Training Center in Virginia (at the end of the pandemic) and Kerri Anderson sharing how our audience can benefit their programs. Please visit the Paws for Purple Hearts website, donation page, Facebook page, Twitter page, and Instagram account. We encourage all military supporters to donate, fund-raise (Facebook birthdays and Amazon Smile), and volunteer.
Check in on Washington Salute social media throughout National Dog week for clips and highlights all week long!