– How to Get a Service Dog for Free –
Looking for a service dog for free? Or needs a service dog but you can’t afford any? Great news! In this article, you shall learn about 10 places that can actualize your desires.
We will show you how to get a service dog for free but, let’s briefly have the basic knowledge needed before taking on a service dog. Service dogs are also referred to as service animals.
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What Do You Know About Service Dogs?
A service dog isn’t just any kind of dog or dog that is randomly picked or selected. Service dogs are trained. And most times they are trained together with their owner who most organization refers to as students.
However, it is pertinent you know what exactly are the functions, purpose, and abilities, etc., of service dogs. Generally, we have two basic categories of dogs, they are ”service dogs” and emotional support dogs.
Two Categories of Dogs
1. Emotional Support Dogs
These are more like comforting and companionship dogs, prescribed by a licensed health professional to individuals with mental dysfunction which helps them ease certain phobias and anxieties.
2. Service Dogs
Service dogs are dogs that are trained to perform tasks, to assist differently-abled individuals. These dogs can also be referred to as assistance animals or helper animals.
The committee responsible for this dog is the International Assistance Animal Committee and they categorized service dogs into three categories.
1 Guide animal which guides the blind
2 Service animals that do work for a person with a disability other than deafness or blindness
3 Hearing animals that signal hearing impaired. Notwithstanding these categories, we have types of service dog
Types of Service Dogs
Below are some types of service dogs:
1. Autism Support Dogs
This type of service dog assists kids with an autism spectrum disorder. They are trained for comforting kids in times of social pressure.
Also, they can actually track kids if eventually, they run off. Generally, they improve the quality of a Child’s life.
2. Seizure Alert Dogs
These dogs are trained to act in certain ways before a seizure occurs or manifests, however, just a few amounts of dogs are capable of possessing this ability.
Seizure-alert dogs are helpful to epileptic patience although the BC Epilepsy Society believes it’s not possible for a dog to be trained to alert seizure intervention or pre-manifestation.
3. Guide Dogs
These are dogs trained to lead virtually impaired individuals, aiding them in their daily activities such as crossing the streets, walking around, and avoiding obstacles and roadblocks.
4. Abetic AlertDogs
Abeticalert dogs are service dogs said to alert chemical changes in the blood sugar they are also known as DADs.
They alert individuals when changes in blood level occur, either reduce or increase before it gets out of hand and becomes detrimental.
5. Psychiatric Service Dogs
These service dogs are trained to work with military veterans, they are also called PTSD SERVICE Dogs.
Psychiatric service dogs help individuals with PTSD or anxiety disorder by going before them or creating barriers between them and their phobias.
6. Allergy Detection Dogs
Allergy detection service dogs are trained to alert individuals of allergy-inducing substances. Most especially for kids. Owning an allergy detection fog creates a sense of security and confidence for kids and their parents.
7. Seizure Respond Dogs
They are service dogs trained to assist individuals experiencing seizures, like barking for help, saving a person from seizure-inducing environments, or even bringing things for a person to aid him to overcome the seizure.
These dogs are trained to assist kids diagnosed with alcohol spectrum disorder, which can affect the Child’s physical, mental and behavioral activities.
Also, these dogs are said to be similar to autistic service-trained dogs. They are really sensitive.
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9. Hearing Dogs
As the name implies, these service dogs assist people who experience hearing impairment. They alert their owners when there is noise or take them in the direction of the noise or sounds generally.
10. Mobility Assistance Dogs
Mobility service dogs are trained to perform a vast range of tasks for individuals with mobility issues.
These dogs usually possess large sizes so as to support their owners. They are helpful to people with brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, etc.
Common Service Dogs Breeds
Some breeds are better considered to be service dogs, either as a result of their size, behavior, or disposition. Not all dogs are considered fit to be a service dog and also not all service dogs do all things or the same thing.
With respect to their breeds, they have specific duties they perform based on their features.
1. German Shepherd
These dogs are usually viewed as police dogs because they share the same qualities as police dogs, they are loyal and can easily be trained with great intellectual capacity.
They are great at monitoring blood sugar levels due to their great sense of smell, however, in regards to their size they can be used as mobility assistance dogs.
2. Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers are one of the most common service dog breeds, they are friendly, easy-going in nature, and sociable, however, they are also devoted and eager to please, coupled with their high levels of intelligence.
These attributes make them both easy to train and attentive to their owner’s needs Physically.
Poodle is an intelligent and cheerful breed that has a nose for detecting allergens, which is a life-saving talent for those suffering from deadly allergies. However, their trainability and sociable nature also make them good at a wide range of service dog tasks.
The coats of Poodle have less dander and are less likely to cause allergic reactions than other breeds, which makes the poodle an excellent choice for people who experience allergies.
4. Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are popular options for many reasons. They are also similar to labs service dogs. They are unique for their dense golden coat from which this breed gets its name, The Goldens.
Golden retrievers are sociable in nature with an easy-going temperament. These breeds are a great fit for on-the-go handlers in need of an extra sight requirement for daily exercise.
Their intelligence and eagerness to please make them easy to train for specific tasks. Golden retrievers are an active breed.
This breed possesses many o traits that make them suitable for service dog work. They are smart breeds and often trained to sense impending seizures, making them an excellent choice as epileptic service dogs.
This breed gets along with children, they also possess a calm and cheerful demeanor which makes them good at assisting individuals with PTSD and other psychiatric disorders.
Although the thick double coat of a rough-coated Collie does require regular grooming which, should be considered. Due to its thick double coat, it may be a deterrent to handlers with certain types of physical disabilities.
Eligibility for Getting a Service Dog
Before thinking of how to get a service dog for free, you have to first meet the requirements for owning one so as to be eligible to get a free service dog. Now let’s look at the basic requirements needed for owning a service dog.
1. Training and Maintenance
Before getting a service dog it’s ought to be trained, so as to avoid posing harm to the public and it must be well behaved. On the second aspect of this, you should be able to maintain the dog as well.
Before acquiring a service dog you ought to reach certain requirements that prove that you can main the dog
Not all differently-abled individuals are able to get a service dog, so for you to get a service dog, the disability ought to be debilitating or really severe.
3. Get a Doctor’s Recommendation
Most times professionalism has its role to play, you might be lucky to get a service dog if it’s been recommended by a certified expert.
Before applying, get a doctor’s paperwork that indicates a service dog is pertinent for the improvement of your disability or mitigate your mental health.
Now we have seen the basic criteria to get a service dog, let’s see ways we can get a service dog for free.
10 Best Places to Get Service Dog for Free
Below are some of the best places to get service dogs for free:
- The Fidelco Foundation
- The Seeing Eye
- The Guide Dog Foundation
- Paws With a Cause
- Train One Yourself
- Guide Dog of America
- Paws For Ability
- International Hearing Dog, Inc
- The Assistance Dog United Campaign (ADUC)
Getting a service dog can be really expensive, however, if you need a service dog but without funds, you can opt-in for fundraising. Although fundraising can be slow or non-productive, it still stands as an option.
Outdoors events like ice cream picnics, soda parties can be organized to raise funds or even, you can use online fundraising platforms. Regardless, the low success of this option. It can be considered.
2. The Fidelco Foundation
The fidelco foundation was founded by Roberta and Charles Kaman. Charlie and Robbie thought of ways to create ideal guide dog partners to enhance the lives of people who are blind.
They began breeding German Shepherd Dogs from German bloodlines which founded the Fidelity Breeders Cooperative to date.
They don’t just give free service dogs they provide efficient service dogs. Visit their site fidelco.org for more information and how to get the application form.
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3. The Seeing Eye
The seeing eye is a philanthropic organization that aims to improve the independence, confidence, and security of virtually impaired individuals through the use of seeing dogs.
It was founded in 1929 with its headquarter location at Morristown, New Jersey, United State. The applicant also referred to as the student, goes through a screening process, which may take a minimum of 60 days and a maximum of 90 days to undergo a screening process.
The evaluations are based on a few categories such as the amount of residual vision, minimum of 16 years of age, ability to travel independently, efficient physical mobility, have appropriate living conditions, have sufficient hearing ability, and have an appropriate plan for use of the dog.
Training is held for students, returning and new students respectively, Also payment fee for both types of students differ, however, no student has been turned down for lack of funds. Visit the site for more information.
4. The Guide Dog Foundation
The Guide Dog Foundation welcomes people who are blind or visually impaired into their community. Eligibility for getting or applying for a service dog, applicants must be legally blind and can demonstrate the need for a guide dog to help them remain safe.
Dogs at Guide Foundation are thought to lead a person in a straight line, find and follow a clear path, maneuver around obstacles both on the ground and overhead, and stop at changes in elevation, such as curbs and stairs.
They are also trained to be extremely well behaved when in public places. Guide foundations use Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Labrador/Golden crosses.
However, application for standard poodles which are bred, for individuals with a medical need for a hypoallergenic dog is currently suspended, although the suspension doesn’t apply to accepted applicants into the poodle Guide Dog training program or returnees.
Getting a guide dog from The Guide Dog Foundation is completely free, the inclusion of training, transportation to and from the school, room, and board during the two-week training program, as well as aftercare services.
Home-based, combination home and residential and small group training is offered to qualified applicants.
5. Paws With a Cause
Paws with a cause aim at enhancing the quality and Independence of life with people who are differently-abled, nationally. They train four major types of service dogs such as
- Hearing Dogs that alert to common environmental sounds
- Service Dogs to help with physical disabilities
- Seizure Response Dogs to assist during or after seizures
- Service Dogs for Children with Autism
Due to the importance of training, Paws does not train dogs that humans already have; they rather train them as puppies, up to the age of two-to-three years old.
They utilize only a few specific breeds: Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and a mix of the two, as well as Poodles, usually reserved for individuals with allergies.
These dogs can be trained by PAWS to perform a vast range of tasks, including opening doors, flipping lights on or off, and alerting when there is a noise.
6. Training One Yourself
When the possibility of getting a service dog is slim, probably due to location or other factors. You can actually consider training one yourself.
The question might be how can I train a service dog when I am in need of one? Well, all you need is decision and determination.
Make research, read, study and watch videos on ways you can achieve your desires. Moreover one of the eligibility of getting a service dog is training. You have to be able to also take care of the dog for you to own one.
So why not consider training one if you can’t get enlisted into acquiring one.
7. Guide Dog of America
As of January 1, 2020, Guide Dogs of America merged with Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs. In view of transforming lives through partnerships with service dogs.
Guide Dogs of America, breed, raise, and train guide dogs for individuals who are blind or visually impaired and service dogs for veterans and children with autism. they also place facility dogs with professionals in hospitals, schools, and courtrooms.
All programs and services, including transportation, personalized training, room, board, and postgraduate support, are provided at no cost to the recipient.
8. Paws for Ability
This is also a non-profit organization that improves the quality of life of children and adults that are differently abled.
They train Hearing Ear Dogs, Autism Assistance Dogs, Mobility Assistance Dogs, and Seizure Alert Dogs. Also, they train Diabetic Alert Dogs, Fetal Alcohol/Drug Exposure Assistance Dogs, and Facilitated Guide Dogs.
Additionally, it is important you know that they train Facility Assistance Dogs, Multipurpose Assistance Dogs, and Veteran Assistance Dogs. Thus, any child or military veteran with a disability and (in certain cases) adults can apply.
Furthermore, they believe service dogs should be made available to any child or adult with a disability who wishes to have the love, companionship, and independence that result from placement with a service dog.
Other Places to Get a Service Dog for Free
There are other places and guide on how to get a service dog for free. Please continue reading through.
1. International Hearing Dog, Inc
As the name implies, they train service dogs for the deaf or individuals with hearing impairment. And they do this by purposefully training specially selected dogs to alert to sounds.
Also, they carefully match these dogs with handlers who are deaf and hard of hearing.
2. The Assistance Dog United Campaign (ADUC)
ADUC offer financial assistance to individuals with a disability seeking to obtain assistance dog in form of vouchers. Programs are developed and research grants are enabled to assist service dogs programs.
The above-listed sites are all available for the application of a service dog in the United State of America. Visit the sites and apply for the breed of service dog you are in need of.
Also, if you know anyone in need of a service dog, pass the information and share it on your social media as well.
If this information was helpful to you, drop your comment in the comment section. Also, if you get enlisted through this information, let us know in the comment section.