We’re often asked these questions from people who are thinking about requesting a service dog; contemplating becoming a puppy raiser; or, considering donating a dog to our organization. Here are some frequently asked questions about Patriot Service Dogs’ program guidelines and their respective answers:
5 FAQ About Patriot Service Dogs’ Program Guidelines
1. How do I go about donating a dog?
We like to begin training as soon as we can, so we generally only accept puppies. Most of our trainees have been with us since they were between 8 and 10 weeks, old; and, to help guarantee healthy service dogs, we like to have as much information on the parents and the puppy’s medical background as possible. We also ensure we have a trainer for that puppy.
While puppies can be placed with a volunteer raiser, we’ve found that our WOOF (Women Offering Obedience and Friendship) trainers at the Lowell Female Correctional Institution are particularly good at giving young dogs the time and patience needed to set them on the right track, so we sometimes wait for a spot to open up there before accepting a new puppy. If you’re interested in donating a puppy contact Julie Drexel, PSD’s CEO at firstname.lastname@example.org!
2. What breed of dog makes the best service dogs? Why?
It depends on the type of service dog. PSD mainly trains larger breeds like labs, golden retrievers, mixed breeds, and standard poodles. These dogs have the height needed to assist with mobility issues. For example, one our commands is “brace,” which allows the dog to help their veteran stand up or balance if needed.
* A smaller dog wouldn’t be able to brace, but it is important to note that service dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Dogs trained to assist with seizure detection, diabetes, hearing issues, and more can be any breed.
3. If I am matched with a service dog and no longer need one, may I give it to someone else?
No! If you no longer need a service dog you may not give it away. You must return it to PSD. The veteran signs an agreement that we will be given first option to place the dog into another working environment. Depending on the age of the dog, he may still be able to help another disabled veteran. If this dog is near retirement age, the family will be given first option to adopt the dog. If they are unable to care for the retired dog, we can offer him back to the puppy raiser family.
4. Once the dog is given to the veteran, how do you monitor the team’s progress?
Patriot Service Dogs keeps in touch with all our service dog teams and they take an annual Public Access Test for the first two years the team is together. The test give us an opportunity to check in and do any fine tuning, if needed. Patriot Service Dogs will always be there for veterans who have received a dog.
5. What happens to the service dog who has had partial training and is not making it in the program?
Not all dogs were born to be service dogs; we understand that and want the best possible future for our dogs. If one of our pups seems to have another calling, like search and rescue or therapy work, we try to place that dog with someone who will use those strengths. However, sometimes, a dog’s real calling is not to work at all. In that case, we ask the puppy raiser’s family if they would like to adopt the dog as a pet. If the puppy raiser can’t take him, we find a quality, trusted adopter.
We hope our answers have helped clarify any uncertainties you may have about some of Patriot Service Dogs ‘guidelines. Should you have any additional questions, leave them in comments to this post and we will answer them.
Patriot Service Dogs, Inc is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping our disabled military community gain a sense of independence through their partnership with a well-trained service dog. Our focus is placing service dogs with disabled active, retired or medically discharged military who have given so much for our freedom. We were formed in July of 2009 in Central Florida with initial offices in Jacksonville & Belleview. At the time of our incorporation, we had 7 founding members with an active and dedicated board. To get more informative updates about our organization, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. We welcome your suggestions as well as financial support through our Donate button on this website. If you are interested in volunteering, contact us at 352-514-9903, and we’ll gladly find a spot for you. We hope you will share our blog posts with your family and friends.