"Paws & Hearts"Animal Assisted Therapy

There are a number of ways that you can help "Paws & Hearts" achieve its goals. One is for you and your pet to volunteer. If you wish to be a volunteer, click the Volunteer button below and fill out our application form.

Always on the look-out for
great therapy dogs in the making!

We are always on the look-out for great therapy dog wanna-be’s.

Over the past few months we’ve seen many dogs in the office that were incredibly cute to look at, but they didn’t possess the personality traits to take on the responsibilities of Animal Assisted Therapy.

Being a ‘cute’ dog to look at, is so not it.  The cuteness of the dog really has nothing to do with the dogs personality, nor does breeding.  In order for your dog to be considered for this most rewarding type of work, look at your dog and ask yourself these questions:

1) Is my dog comfortable in all situations, i.e. coming into contact with strangers on the street, or walking the isles of Lowe’s or Home Depot?

2) Will my dog allow total strangers to come over and say hello?  And will my dog greet the person with great interest and curiosty? 

3) Does my dog greet visitors in my home with eagerness and affection?  Does my dog want to be the center of attention and make guests happy that they’ve come over to visit?

At “Paws & Hearts we love temperament testing potential Canine Ambassadors and coming up with winners.  Consider what will be required of your dog by reviewing our website, and watch the videos of a hospital visit and a temperament test.  If you think your pooch has what it takes, we really want to hear from you!

Donations are critical to our ability to function. Your generous tax deductible donations help us to fund liability insurance, utilities, office expenses and a modest payroll. To send a donation, please click on the donation button below. You can make a donation directly on line with PayPal, or mail us a check made payable to "Paws & Hearts" 74-854 Velie Way, Ste. #7, Palm Desert, CA 92260

Why Donate to Paws and Hearts?

       Why donate to "Paws & Hearts"?  What sets our organization apart from all the others in the valley? Good questions.  First of all, "Paws & Hearts" only has one program and very simply put, all of our energy and funding goes into our mission statement of providing therapy dogs to local hospitals, long-term care facilities, cancer centers and Alzheimer's facilities.

Our overhead is very low, actually our 2012 budget was a little lower than our 2011 budget because we had a reduction in our insurance coverage, our phone charge decreased and our rent did not increase.  Every dollar that a donor donates goes right into making the visits (all 130,000 in '08) possible, paying the rent on the office, the liability insurance, utilities, office supplies, the Executive Directors salary, etc. 

Quite often when a donor donates to a large multi-level agency it is not always clear what the donation is used for.  With us, there is only one program and our donors can rest assured that their generous donation goes towards the visits. 

So the next time you, the donor, are out in the valley and you see one of our volunteers in the "Paws & Hearts" white polo shirt taking their Canine Ambassador into a facility, be proud that your donation has made that visit possible and that you are ensuring the future of our little organization!

Mail your check to :
"Paws & Hearts"
74-854 Velie Way, Suite 7, Palm Desert, CA 92260

or click on the button below to donate electronically.

If you wish to see our full financial reports or other information about "Paws & Hearts" follow these instructions:

1) Go to
2) On the top click register and fill out the information. You will need to create a log in ID and password. It is free.
3) After you register, click advanced search and type in these three words . Paws and Hearts.
Then click okay or go. Once you are on the page you can click on any link to learn different things about the company.

Consider leaving us a lasting legacy so that "Paws & Hearts" can continue providing Animal Assisted Therapy visits for many life-times to come.
  • Leaving a legacy donation in either your name or your dog's name
  • Leave a donation on behalf of a loved one we visited
  • Consider making us one of the charities to which you make an annual contribution
  • The benefits of a charitable bequest is a bequest written in a will or trust that directs a gift to be made to "Paws & Hearts" when you pass away.  One benefit of a charitable bequest is that it enables you, the donor, to further the good work of our Canine Ambassadors long after you are gone.  If you or your loved ones have greatly benefited from our visits, consider what your donation will mean to other patients and families. 

    Please call our Executive Director, Richard Waxman at
    760-836-1406 to discuss the various methods of leaving a legacy in your name.


It is important to run this article again and keep this thought in everyone’s mind.

As an organization we continue to grow and mature and have begun to consider long-range financial plans for “Paws & Hearts.”  Producing an annual dog walk is one way of collecting donations, but for a non-profit to become solid, having funds invested over the long-term ensures continued growth. 

There are many ways that donors can bestow upon a non-profit a lasting legacy that will help to ensure the longevity of the organization. Donors can direct fund to us through a variety of ways;

  • Retirement planned gifts
  • Bequests
  • Gifts of life insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Charitable gift annuities


Whichever route a donor chooses, he or she should always consult their financial advisor first.  Tax benefits are available if funds are given while the donor is still living.  And keep in mind that once you become a long-term donor you will be forever part of our Legacy Society, and recognized with special attention at events.  Just imagine our first Legacy Society tea!

“Paws & Hearts intends to be here for generations to come, and as we move forward one of our goals is to establish ourselves with a secure financial base.  This is something to which each and every one of you can lend a hand in!

Richard Waxman


At "Paws & Hearts" we offer a new slant on donations in memory of. We have the standard memorial donation, which if you make a donation in the name of a family member or pet and provide us with a picture; we will include the picture on our Memorial Wall and send a letter of acknowledgment to the family.

In addition we have come up with a fun way to honor family and friends. Most people who celebrate birthdays and anniversaries don't want gifts, but would rather have a donation made in their name. Consider making the donation to "Paws & Hearts." We will send out an acknowledgment letter to inform the recipient of your generosity on their behalf. A great tax deductible way to give a gift!

"As Good As New"
Official Thrift Store for
Paws & Hearts"

Please be sure to visit our thrift shop, As Good As New located at
44 855 San Pablo Ave. #3, Palm Desert, behind the Angel View Thrift Shop,
(760) 341-4660. The store is full of great items and the merchandise changes daily.

As Good As New is a terrific way to generate donations for our organization. A whopping 50% of all sales are a donation to us, so your purchases are very important, and your donations of household goods keeps a customer coming back.

Keep in mind that we are able to pick up all of your large donations, so items such as furniture, televisions, even computers can benefit us, but please keep in mind that all items must be in working and saleable condition. So next time you are cleaning out the house, please give us a call and we will be only too happy to schedule a pick up!

Monday – Sunday 9 –4  (760) 341-4660

"Scuffy" Waxman

Most of you who are readers of our quarterly Newsletter are familiar with Scruffy's column. As he is nearing 14 years old, and 13 of those years visiting Eisenhower Medical Center 3-times per week, it is time to shine the light on all the therapy visits Scruffy has done in his life.

Over the years Scruffy has been placed on thousands of beds to visit patients at Eisenhower and other valley facilities. He and "Lucky", and now "Maddie" have been interviewed on KMIR countless times over the years, and been featured in articles in Palm Springs Life and other local publications.

Scruffy came from a less than happy home when he started out his life, but he found his way to our home and he quickly became the second banana to Lucky at Eisenhower. Scruffy was never interested in being top dog, he was always very content to lay along the patients side and kiss hands. Over the 13 years at Eisenhower Scruffy has become famous for his healing hand kisses! It is always quite a treat when we see a repeat patient who says to us, "Scruffy is the dog who kissed my hand the last time I was here isn't he?"

In the pictures below, you can see Scruffy up on the bed visiting a patient, and in the other picture, Scruffy was presented with an award for all of his year's of pet therapy visits from Angel Light Academy. Scruffy and the other recipients were treated to a lovely lunch at Fleming's and were presented with their awards. (Scruffy was much more interested in the steak that he was served!)

In all the years of visits Scruffy's best visits were always with children and stroke patients. Scruffy was a champ at letting children of any age tap his head and attempt a petting. His most memorable visit came just a few weeks ago............we were invited into a room with a 16 month old baby. The mother was holding the baby up in her arms, and one of his arms was in a splint. The little boy smiled and got all excited when I held Scruffy up so he could pet him. His mother assisted with his good hand and together they stroked Scruffy's head. In typical Scruffy fashion, he zeroed in on the arm in the splint and started to kiss the little fingers that stuck out. I explained to the mother that he was known for his healing kisses and that he wanted to make her son feel better. From the smiles on the young boys face, I think he did just that!

God love ya' "Scruffy", thanks for thousands of memories! Let's make a few more.

We have had and continue to have some of the greatest volunteers who make all the difference at "Paws & Hearts" and in the lives of the people we visit.

Click on the link below.

Some of our past
"Volunteers Of The Month"

Visit our Canine Ambassadors at work page to see our Canine Ambassadors working out in the field. Click the link below.

Our Canine Ambassadors at work.

Paws & Hearts founders Richard, "Lucky" and "Scruffy" Waxman.  Since "Lucky's" passing, "Scruffy" has been doing all of the new- volunteer training himself.  He has a new assistant, "Maddie" who is his side-kick on visits. 

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"Paws & Hearts"
74-854 Velie Way, Suite 7, Palm Desert, CA 92260
(760) 836-1406 Fax (760) 836-1426