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Application Process

Our application process unfolds in three comprehensive stages to ensure a seamless experience for our applicants:

1.  Application Submission: Begin by sharing some basic information about yourself through our application request form.


2.  Personalized Phone Consultation: Within 10 business days, anticipate a phone call from our team. This conversation will delve into your lifestyle, home environment, and expectations regarding a service dog. Feel free to ask questions about our dogs, training methods, or anything else pertaining to our program.


3. Orientation and Interview: Upon approval by our admission committee, you'll be invited to an immersive orientation at our training center. This firsthand experience allows you to familiarize yourself with our facilities and meet our dedicated trainers. Following the orientation, a face-to-face interview and formal application process will take place to ensure a perfect fit between our program and your needs.


We understand the unique challenges faced by veterans and first responders. That's why our process is tailored to provide comprehensive information, enabling you to make informed decisions aligning with your medical treatment plan and personal requirements.



Our primary mission at the STAR Dog and Training Program is to transform lives. We carefully select dogs from shelters and rescues, giving them a second chance, and enroll them in our innovative prison-based dog training program. These dogs are then expertly paired with deserving veteran candidates.


Our comprehensive program begins with thorough education on service dog laws, dog behavior, and training techniques. From there, our candidates are immersed in hands-on training sessions, culminating in the rewarding experience of being paired with a STAR dog.


Following this pairing, a dedicated journey unfolds, with weekly sessions at our Training Center and daily training sessions, spanning approximately a year. Throughout this process, our candidates work diligently to earn certifications in Canine Good Citizen, Task Training, and Public Access, ensuring the highest standards of proficiency and reliability.

Bring Your Own Dog Training

Many of our veterans and first responders share a special connection with a beloved dog already residing in their homes. Through our Bring Your Own Dog program, upon acceptance into our program, each veteran's or first responder's furry companion undergoes a thorough evaluation to assess their potential as a service dog. We consider several criteria for the dogs:

  • Completion of basic obedience classes or training before application

  • Spayed or neutered

  • Certification of good health from a veterinarian, including up-to-date vaccinations and preventatives, as well as a rabies license

  • Possession of a current county license from the county they reside in

  • No history of aggression or other undesirable behaviors, including no bite history

Suspended Until fall 2024

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