HOW IT WORKS

Not all Service Dog programs are created equally. This is how Veteran Service Dogs Organization operates.

Veteran Service Dogs Organization is a 100% volunteer organization. Not one person on our staff is paid a single cent to work here. We want to be sure that each and every person who works here is here for the RIGHT reasons, not a paycheck. We are here to serve our Veterans.

We train the Veteran and the Dog together as a team. We do NOT hand out per-trained dogs to the Veteran and expect the Veteran to know how to properly handle the dog. We feel that the dog needs to work for the Veteran, not us. Therefore, the Veteran is involved in every step of the training process.

Once we find a suitable dog for the Veteran and their specific needs, the dog is sent home with the Veteran right away to begin the bonding process. The Veteran is then expected to come to training every week. We teach both the dog and the Veteran the obedience and tasks required to become a Service Animal.

While the obedience process is relatively uniform between dogs, the tasks are individually suited to the specific needs of each Veteran. Many Veterans may need the dogs to perform tasks designed to help with physical disabilities such as balance issues. Some Veterans may need to dogs to perform tasks designed to mitigate the symptoms of PTSD. Some Veterans may need the dogs to perform tasks designed to alert to an imminent seizure. However, not all Veterans have exactly the same disabilities or needs. Therefore, we design a training regiment that is tailored to the individual needs of each Veteran.

The dog and the training are provided to the Veteran for FREE. There are no fees to participate in the program. The Veteran is merely responsible for the care and maintenance of the dog.

Veteran Service Dogs Organization does NOT accept B.Y.O.D. (Bring Your Own Dog) with this program. There may be some exceptions made in very rare cases, but as a general rule, we do not currently provide this service. We want to be sure that the dog is capable of performing the tasks required and have a temperament that is compatible with being a Service Animal.

See the lists below to be sure that you qualify for the program, and that you are prepared for the commitment required of you through this program.

QUALIFICATIONS

You must meet ALL of these qualifications to participate in the program.
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    1) You must be Honorably discharged from military service.

  • 2) You must have served a minimum of 1 year.

  • 3) You must have a disability that requires the use of a service animal.

  • 4) You must be willing and able to travel to Howell Michigan for weekly training.

  • 5) You must be ready to make the commitment that having a Service Animal requires.

PROCESS

If you meet all of the qualifications, this is the process of getting into the program.
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    1) If you meet all of the qualifications, fill out the application for our program.

  • 2) Our volunteers will review your application and call your references.

  • 3) Our volunteers will call you to schedule your in-person interview.

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    4) After your interview, you will be scheduled for orientation.

  • 5) After orientation, you will be scheduled to observe 3 training sessions.

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    6) After completion of the previous steps, we will begin the search for a dog that suits your needs.

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