Taking your dog with you everywhere you go sounds wonderful, but in reality it involves a lot of hard work, patience, and understanding of the laws involved.
Step 1 -Decide what you want a service dog to do for you:
The ADA requires that a service dog be trained to do work or perform tasks that mitigate your disability. What tasks could a dog do for you that would mitigate your disability? (Providing comfort or companionship is not considered a service task and does not qualify for reasonable accomodation).
For more information on what reasonable accomodation means, and how service dogs should behave in public, go to our ADA Regulations page.
Step 2 - Getting an appropriate dog:
Is your dog appropriate for service work, or do you need to find a dog? Your dog may be the most wonderful, smart, loving companion at home, but a service dog must be able to handle situations that most dogs find very stressful or frightening. Choosing a Dog
Eligibility for Handi-Dogs:
- Person with a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, including physical impairment, diabetes, hearing impairment, and psychiatric disorders;
- Caregiver/Family member of a child with a disability;
- Statement from a physician required in order to verify disability.
- Will be assessed for appropriate temperament before acceptance;
- Must be physically sound and capable of performing the tasks asked of it;
- Must have proof of health and required vaccinations;
- Must have at least 6 years of working life after completing training. Generally, this means dogs no older than 4 years.
- Must be spayed/neutered
- Classes are held in 10-week sessions. The number of sessions required depends on how consistently you train with your dog. Expect 6-8 ten-week sessions (1-2 years) to achieve certification.
- Participants attend a 60-90 minute class once a week, and practice daily at home.
- Classes are held on weekdays, during the day. Class placement is dependent on your dog's individual needs after evaluation.
- There is a non-refundable $35.00 application/testing fee.
- The cost for each 10-week session is $200 - $300, depending on course level.
Download in PDF format. All forms & $35 fee are required before application will be processed:
Program Information - updated for classes beginning April, 2013
Service Dog Program Application
Spring Session 2013
April 1 - June 7