Your Path to a Fully Trained Service Dog: The Journey Begins Here
At Medical Mutts, we're committed to guiding you on your journey to obtaining a fully-trained service dog. Our process is designed to ensure you and your future companion are the perfect match for each other. From understanding the steps involved to what to expect along the way, we're here to provide clarity and support as you embark on this remarkable adventure. Discover the path to a stronger, more independent life with a loyal service dog by your side.
The Process of Getting Your Fully Trained Service Dog
Step 1: Learn and Decide
Before embarking on the journey to get a service dog, it's crucial to gather all the information you need to see if it's the right choice for you. Service dogs are amazing companions, but they require dedication and commitment. They are not a good option for everyone.
Step 2: Fill Out Our Application
Once you're ready, start by filling out our application. This helps us understand your needs and preferences, allowing us to match you with the perfect service dog candidate.
Step 3: The Interview
We'll reach out to schedule an interview, which typically takes about an hour and costs $120. It's a great idea to involve other family members if possible. During this interview, we'll delve deeper into your requirements and get to know you better. You will also have a chance to talk to a professional, get all your questions answered, and make sure this is a viable solution for your situation.
Step 4: The Financials
After the interview, we'll send you a contract. It's important to understand that training a service dog is an extensive and costly process, and each service dog costs us over $30,000. To make this possible, we ask our clients to contribute $20,000, while we cover the rest through our fundraising efforts. We also offer a 20% discount to veterans and first responders.
Here's why the cost is significant:
We search far and wide, sometimes across state lines, to find dogs with the right temperament.
Even after careful assessment, only 30% of rescue dogs become service dogs, and the rest find loving homes, but all receive medical care and training.
Months of training, staff time, food, veterinary care, and more go into preparing each service dog such as adoption fees, spay and neuter, vet care, heartworm and flea and tick preventatives, microchipping, crate, bedding, leash and collars, toys, treats, training aids, bowls and feeders, vests, patches, ID badge, teaching material, food, treats, transportation equipment, dog screening and evaluation, training, specialized task training, community outing training, academy training, etc.
The cost includes the coaching you'll receive, the 10-day training program at our facility, and ongoing support after you take your service dog home.
Please note that although we would love to provide service dogs at a more affordable rate, our current fundraising efforts limit our ability to cover a larger portion of the cost, but we're constantly working to improve this.
If cost and time are a concern, we offer budget-friendly options for you to train your own dog (see below).
Step 5: The Wait
Your patience will be rewarded, but it does take time. You'll need to wait approximately 12 to 18 months. This waiting period allows you to fundraise for your service dog and prepare through our online learning platform. We have other clients on our waiting list, and we're limited in the number of dogs we can train each year.
Step 6: Come to our facility and learn how to work with your service dog
Once your dog is ready, you'll be invited to our team training program. This 10-day training session at our facility will teach you how to manage your new companion.
Step 7: Go home with your service dog and get ongoing support
The first 6-12 months of getting your service dog are a learning curve. Your dog needs to adapt to their new environment and you are still building new habits. You will have direct and ongoing access to our team to support you through this journey. You'll stay in touch with us and participate in scheduled check-ins and training sessions. We are committed to helping you succeed with your dog.
We're dedicated to providing you with a working service dog, which means we carefully match you with the best candidate based on your application and interview. While we can't foresee every variable, sometimes we may need to replace the dog if things don't work out. Rest assured, the fee covers our services, not the intrinsic value of the dog, and includes any possible replacement.
"I am an extremely grateful recipient of my second Service with Medical Mutts. I have Multiple Sclerosis. Working with Medical Mutts' staff is such a wonderful experience! Every staff member I have been in contact with have been extremely helpful, personable, kind, very involved in making sure my needs were met. The staff from caregivers to trainers to management are all working as a team to make sure the dogs provided are ready for the people they will serve. The trainers and management personnel are indeed experts in their field".
Are you ready for a service dog?
Are you wondering if a service dog could be the perfect addition to your life? Click the link below to discover if you're ready to embark on this transformative journey. Your path to independence, companionship, and boundless support may be just a click away. Find out today!