How much does it cost? There is no cost to the veteran in any way for our program.
How did this get started? We saw the need for an alternative to paying large amounts of money or waiting up to 2 years for a pre-trained dog.
Who trains the dog? Veterans train the dog, under our guidance, through the entire process attending group classes, individual sessions and training in the real world. It is a lot of work, 2-3 hours per day, and takes commitment and dedication.
How do I know if my dog qualifies? We do an evaluation on your dog, testing temperament and willingness to work with you. Most dogs do not qualify but can make great pet dogs. We also help you find a puppy or dog suitable for you and your lifestyle using local rescues and shelters. This can take time as service dog candidates can be hard to find.
What if I don't have a dog? We use local rescues and shelters to find a qualifying dog.
Who qualifies for the program? Active duty and separated members of the military. Minimum qualifications are; be in treatment, have a letter from your provider recommending a service dog for you and provide your DD214.
Do I need to be in the Huntsville area to be in the program? Yes, you'll need to be able to attend classes and participate in individual sessions for several months.
What do the dogs learn to do? Along with general obedience they will learn task specific behaviors like anxiety alert, nightmare alert, blocking, as needed for PTSD symptoms.
How long does it take to get certified? Depending on the dog and the tasks you need, it can take approximately 18 months. You will attend group and private sessions and need to be able to dedicate 2-3 hours a day to training exercises with your dog.
What’s the difference between a therapy dog and a service dog? Teams who successfully complete our program are considered Service Dogs. Unlike a Service Dog, entities are not required to allow therapy, comfort or emotional support dogs on public transportation, in restaurants, businesses, lodging where dogs are not permitted, however an emotional support dog can live you with in a ‘no dogs allowed’ housing situation. See more information at the ADA website.
What if I want a comfort or emotional support dog? There is no special training for Emotional Support dogs. We only train to PTSD Service Dog qualification.
Is the program only available to veterans? Yes, active duty and separated members of the military.
How do I know if I qualify for the program? We start with a consultation to determine if our program is right for you. Contact us for more information.
If I want to donate my dog will you evaluate him and get him adopted? We only accept and evaluate dogs from local rescues and shelters.
If I start the program does it mean I will definitely end up as a Service Dog? Actually, there are no guarantees that a dog will successfully complete the program, but throughout the training process we address any issues that arise.