Our application process has three stages.
First, apply online with the questionnaire.
Second, you will receive a phone call (please allow for processing time) requesting an interview over the phone. This will ask for information about your home, lifestyle, and expectations of having a service dog.
Finally, with admission committee approval, you may be invited to an orientation at our training center. This third step allows the applicant to see the training center and meet the trainers.
This process keeps in mind that applying for a service dog should be accessible to veterans. The applicant can seek information of the training. center to see if it is a good fit for their medical treatment plan.
STAR Dog and Training
The STAR dog and training program is our main mission. This program selects dogs from shelters and rescues, places them in our prison housed dog training program, and then pairs them with veteran candidates.
The program starts with education on service dog laws, dog behavior, etc. Training exposure and pairing with a STAR dog, and then weekly sessions at the Training Center and daily training on their own. Training continues for at least a year while earning Canine Good Citizen, Community Canine, Public Access, and Urban Canine testing.
Bring Your Own Dog
Sometimes our veterans have formed a bond with a dog already in their home. With the Bring Your Own Dog program, once the veteran is accepted, the dog will be evaluated to determine training as a service dog. Some of the criteria for the dog is;
Completed basic obedience classes/ training
Between 10 months and 4 years of age
Veterinarian certification of Health and up to date on vaccines and preventatives
No history of aggression
Throughout each year there are dogs that don't quite graduate from our STAR program because of a quirk that was discovered after training has begun. Not every dog can be a service dog! These dogs still deserve good homes and may be easier to acclimate into the lives of an individual or family looking to add a dog to the mix!
By filling out this application, you may be contacted when a dog becomes available. Veterans may receive a dog at no cost and a civilians will have a small adoption fee to cover costs.