FAQs

Does it cost anything to get an assistance dog?

Support Dogs does not charge for our assistance dogs. We do require a $100 application fee, plus an equipment fee of approximately $400 which is due when you receive the dog.

Where do you get your dogs?

We get our dogs from breeders because we need to know their medical and temperament history.

Can I donate my dog to the program?

Support Dogs does take donated dogs. You would have to provide a generational pedigree of three to five generations with OFA hip and elbow clearances. All dogs accepted into the program must also pass a temperament evaluation.

How old do you have to be to get an assistance dog?

To qualify for a service dog, applicants must be a minimum of six-years-of-age. Youth service dog clients will be certified with an adult family member, in addition to the dog. All hearing dog clients must be 18 years of age and psychiatric service dog applicants must be 18 years of age and older.

Do you provide seizure alert or diabetic dogs?

No. Our dogs are trained to help the physically disabled, as well as those who are Deaf or hard of hearing. Support Dogs does not place any type of response dog.

My dog is already trained. Can you certify my dog as an assistance dog?

No. Support Dogs will only certify dogs that have been trained through the organization.

What type of dogs do you use?

We use Labrador retrievers and Golden retrievers because of their size, their instinct to retrieve, and their willingness to please people.

What are your dogs trained to do?

Our Service Dogs are trained to help with mobility-related tasks. They can open doors, retrieve dropped objects, help with balance, take off clothing items, carry bags, help with transfers, and perform counter transactions. Our Hearing Dogs alert to sounds in the environment – doorbell, smoke alarm, phone ringing, door knock, alerting to someone calling their handler’s name. These dogs can also retrieve items the handler might not realize they have dropped. Our Psychiatric Service Dogs act as a grounding mechanism for a military veteran with PTSD and can provide a sense of security and empowerment for the individual.

Can my child take his assistance dog to school?

Support Dogs does not advocate children taking dogs to school. This is something that would be arranged by the parents and the school.

Do you place assistance dogs out of the area?

Yes. We serve clients nationwide. If you come from out of the area, you would be responsible for all costs associated with travel, lodging, and meals during the Team Training and placement process.

How long is your wait for an assistance dog?

There is no definite wait time. Support Dogs states the sooner the potential client can return the application packet with all supporting materials, the faster the process will move.

How old do you have to be to volunteer?

You have to be 18-years-of-age to volunteer with Support Dogs.

What happens to the dogs that do not make the program?

Those in the community can apply for a dog that does not make the program - we place them simply as a pet. Support Dogs will recommend the dog to SDI programs (TOUCH, Paws for Reading) if appropriate. Click here to learn more.

Where do you get your TOUCH dogs?

TOUCH dogs are people’s personal pets and can be of any breed. Their acceptance into the program is based on their temperament.

Do you use animals other than dogs?

No. We use only dogs for all of our programs.

How can I volunteer?

Contact the office for an application or visit the website for information and an application.

 

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