Our Story

Wounded Paw Project (WPP) is focused on the rehabilitation and training of shelter [high kill] dogs which we have demonstrated the need to breed belief controversial. With proper therapy, training and love, we have paired service members, veterans, civilians, and children with a service dog* at a fraction of the cost of a “Window Store” dog. Still, empirical data is being gathered for subsequent publication with the input of trainers, veterinarians, and medical doctors for eventual discussions debunking the perceived opinion.

Our Motto is “Saving A Paw, to Save A Life” TM – Giving Rescues | Shelters a Second Tail as a Service Dog*

Our PAW is made up of 94 paws ranging in size, including one RED PAW facing in the opposite direction, which represent the over eight million animals which are surrendered to shelters in the United States, with over four million of those eventually being destroyed. The RED PAW represents the number of dogs’ organizations like WPP save.

Daisy and her story:

Daisy “Rainbow” Hernandez was rescued from a shelter to fill the void to my human’s children. Their father was always gone to place like Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places for months and months at times. When he returned late 2008 something was different than his previous deployments. He was in constant pain and couldn’t get out of bed, the doctors kept feeding him pills after pills. He remained on active duty, but hid his physical and invisible wounds. However, I knew that I need to help him to save him from himself.

On March 26, 2008 deployed again to Baghdad Iraq my training and creed of “Service before Self” was tested and scored. We came under concentrated indirect rocket and mortar fire with many, many casualties, a solider and I grabbed and hurled warriors into a make shift concrete bunker. To abate additional causalities, we both used our bodies to close the openings and protect the occupants; and made our peace to see each other on the other side. We both survived and earned the Purple Heart for our actions. Years later the physical and invisible wounds would surface with consequences.

At that time, opioids were the choice of treatment as a failed remedy especially for that behind our eyes. Most of us turned to alcohol for comfort which was the denominator for destruction and leading cause of tasting cold steel. Where no doctor, clinician, family, friend, military service could help. She was able to, a rescue pit/lab named Daisy Rainbow Hernandez pet turned service dog. She had no judgment, disapproval, or words of war. As my wounds healed with her big brown eyes, we formed Wounded Paw Project – giving rescues [shelters] a second tail as a service dog*.

Daisy “Rainbow” Hernandez
Founder, Service Dog
Wounded Paw Project


Ernesto P. Hernandez III
Co-Founder, Purple Heart Recipient
Wounded Paw Project

A native Texan, Ernesto served in the United States Air Force for twenty-one years deployed in numerous “Hot Spots” throughout the world after graduating from the USAF Academy in 1994. He is a Purple Heart recipient as well as an animal lover and advocate.

*Service, Emotional, Therapy, Comfort, Mobility, Sexual Trauma, Courts, etc.