America's VetDogs Program Admission Information
*Before completing the Application Request Form, please review the following Program Admission Information to determine if you are eligible for an assistance dog.*
Who is eligible to apply to America’s VetDogs?
Men and women who are active military, veterans who have been honorably discharged, and first responders who are visually or hearing impaired or physically disabled. Also eligible are professionals working with Military organizations that provide physical or mental health care to clients who will benefit from interaction with an Assistance Dog.
What are the responsibilities of someone who receives a dog from America’s VetDogs?
Clients must be able to attend a two week residential training program and be able to follow through with the in-home and public training process. They must be committed to maintain the dog’s training throughout the duration of the team and to provide for the well-being of the dog (veterinary care, proper grooming, exercise, etc.). It is advisable to research yearly veterinary, grooming and feeding costs in your specific area prior to applying for an assistance dog. America’s VetDogs provides training support for all its graduate teams.
What kind of assistance dogs does America’s VetDogs provide?
- Guide Dogs for those who are blind or visually impaired
- Wheelchair Guides for people who are blind or visually impaired and use electric wheelchairs
- Service Dogs for people who are physically disabled
- Service Dogs for PTSD for those whose primary disability is combat related.
- Seizure Response Dogs
- Hearing Dogs for those who have a minimum of a 30% bilateral hearing loss
- Military Facility Dogs that accompany staff members who work in military hospitals, VA’s etc.
At this time America’s VetDogs only provides dogs that assist with the management of PTSD as a pilot program (see above for eligibility.) We do not provide Diabetic Alert Dogs, dogs that detect medical symptoms such as cancer, dogs that provide personal protection, or Emotional Support Dogs.
What types of dogs are used?
For the most part, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retriever’s and crosses of the two breeds are utilized. All America’s VetDogs pass specialized health and temperament screenings to be eligible for training.
How old are the dogs when they are matched?
Dogs are approximately 14 to 24 months old
What tasks are America’s VetDogs trained to do?
- Guide Dogs help their partners safely navigate busy streets and intersections
- Service Dogs pick up dropped articles, retrieve articles off high counter tops, open doors and turn light switches on and off. They can provide balance and pull a wheelchair.
- Seizure Response Dogs are trained to respond appropriately when their partner is having a seizure and to allow others to approach. Specific tasks such as pushing an emergency button or rousing through licking may also be requested.
- Hearing Dogs alert and orient their partners to sounds such as an alarm clock, door knock, smoke alarm, telephone and doorbells
- Military Facility Dogs assist wounded veterans in their physical and emotional rehabilitation process
- Service Dogs for PTSD are trained for tasks such as nightmare interruption to help mitigate PTSD.
Can America’s VetDogs train a client’s own dog to be their Assistance Dog?
No. America’s VetDogs only trains dogs that were breed through their extensive breeding program. This assures that dogs accepted into the training program have the health, temperament and ability to be assistance dogs
What if I have other pets in my home?
The instructors will make a decision on a case by case basis regarding the other pets in the household. No other pets will be allowed if the instructor concludes that they will interfere with an assistance dog working.
How long is the waiting list for a assistance dog from VetDogs?
6 months to two years
How much does it cost?
Although it costs over $50,000 to train and place an assistance dog, All of our services, including transportation to, and accommodations at our NY center, are provided at no cost due to the extraordinary generosity of public contributions.
I completed the application request form, but haven’t been contacted. Why?
Due to the large number of requests for assistance dogs, America’s VetDogs will respond to your application request within fifteen (15) business days. Only qualified applicants will receive a detailed application.
If you have read and understand the admission program information, please click on the following button to proceed: