"Paws & Hearts"Animal Assisted Therapy


"Paws & Hearts" is a Pet Therapy Visitation Organization, which was founded in December, 2000. We are a registered Not-For-Profit (501 C3) community based volunteer group.

We are located in Palm Desert, CA and serve the entire Coachella Valley with our Canine Ambassadors. Seven days of the week our 45 plus teams of handlers and Canine Ambassadors make weekly visits to area hospitals, long-term care facilities, Cancer Centers, Alzheimer's Facilities and senior centers.

Upcoming Take Your Dog to the Movies ---> CLICK HERE

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"Paws & Hearts" was recently featured in a Palm Springs Life article.
Click Here to read.

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Our Mission Statement

"Paws &
Hearts" is a leader in the field of
"Animal Assisted Therapy" (AAT) and it is
our mission to enrich the lives of the frail and special care cases that require the loving attention and affection that only a
"four-legged" healer can provide.


Just imagine being laid up in a hospital or convalescent center and into your room strolls a four-legged Canine Ambassador from "Paws & Hearts." The greater presence of animals in health-care settings comes amid increasing evidence that pets are good for us and can play a significant role in patients' recovery. Referred to as "pet therapy" or "animal assisted therapy", pet visitations have become an important tool for doctors and rehabilitation specialists.

Animals motivate people to participate in their therapies, brighten patients' days, give them a chance to talk about the animals in their lives, and give them the opportunity to forget they're in a hospital. Clinical studies have already shown that petting a dog or a cat lowers blood pressure, and has an overall calming effect on patients. But just as important as the clinical benefits, visiting pets give the patients a real breather from their current situation.

Many of the patients visited are withdrawn and in pain, but bring a friendly dog or purring cat into the room and 99% of the time the patient will respond favorably. The visiting pet brings a change of pace to the day that has long lasting effects. Consider this story;


"My Mother was in respite in the hospital.
The day one of your Canine Ambassadors came
to visit was my mother's best day!
All she did was talk about how sweet and gentle
the dog was and how happy he made her feel.
You have no idea how wonderful this program is!"


Animal Assisted Therapy is not for everyone though. Some people don't like animals; others have allergies or other medical reasons why they can't have them visit. This kind of 'work' can be hard on the animals themselves. Just like any worker, they get stressed out if forced to work long hours or in difficult circumstances. Most dogs tire after an hour and a half. It is important to listen and watch our dogs cue as to when they've had enough. They always let us know that their work that day is done.

"Paws & Hearts"is a 501c3 Non Profit Animal Assisted Therapy Organization located in Palm Desert, California.  Volunteer handlers and their Canine Ambassadors visit their assigned facility once per week.  Please consider becoming a Volunteer Team with our organization.  Please enjoy our site and email us at with your questions.


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Eisenhower Medical Center,
Desert Regional Medical Center,
The Eisenhower Five Star Club, Monterey Palms,
California Nursing & Rehabilitation,
Comprehensive Cancer Center at Desert Regional Medical Center,
Country Villa Rancho Mirage Healthcare,
The Fountains at the Carlotta,
Manor Care,
Palm Springs Healthcare,
Vista Cove at Rancho Mirage,
Windsor Court

Our founder, Lucky Waxman,
passed away June 28, 2011.

It has now been four years since "Lucky" passed away.  Not a single minute of the day goes by that he isn't missed or thought of by his Dad, Richard.  Never has a dog left a legacy behind like "Lucky".  Patients and staff at Eisenhower Medical Center still reminisce about him and share their remembrances.

....Mission / How you can help / Benefits of Pet Therapy / Events / News

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