Currently we are not accepting applications for service dogs.
Fill out the form below requesting the type of service dog application you need or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are needing an application for a combination of tasks such as diabetic alet/mobility dog just explain in the message area on the form below. When returning the application, you need to include a check/money order for the $25.00 processing fee made out to Valley Service Dogs or pay using the donate button on our website. The completed application and check can also be sent to: Contact Us
All other information (e.g. references etc.) can be e mailed to Valley Service Dogs at: email@example.com
Applications for service dogs are received and reviewed by Valley Service Dog's Board of Directors. The Board determines if the applicant is eligible and if Valley Service dogs can meet the applicant’s needs.
The application for a service dog process is as followed
Email us a request for a service dog application or fill out the form below. When we receive the filled out application we will e-mail you with a tentative date to have a phone consultation. The phone consultation will help us to determine exactly what the dog would be trained to do. Based on this need the training tasks are determined and the contract is sent to the recipient. If you are not able to complete a phone consultation, it can be completed through a caregiver or someone that you appoint that is familiar with your specific needs and abilities.
A $300 deposit is required with your returned executed contract (deposit will count towards your fundraising goal) to show your commitment and for us to begin the fundraising process. The applicant formally becomes Valley Service Dogs Family.
For those who choose not to fundraise, but have the required donation available either through their own resources or the resources of others, this can be done directly through Valley Service Dogs. Depending upon the tasks that are needed, the service dog can be ready to start handler training a soon as 1 month! Please Contact Us to check on the availability of dogs prior to making this type of donation.
The family then begins to fundraise, you are strongly encouraged to assist in the fundraising effort to decrease the time required to complete the process. Funds raised are sent to Valley Service Dogs, where money raised is deposited into the Valley Service Dogs, Inc. bank account and credited to the families fundraising requirements.
As you get closer to meeting the funds for your dog, we begin finalizing your future service dog’s specialized task. The process of training a dog to completion can take from 1 1/2 - 2 years. Sometimes we have a dog that is almost complete with training and has not been appointed a recipient. This can mean that as soon as your funds have been met, we can start specific task training and handler training as soon as possible. This can be in as little as 1 – 4 months depending on the specialized tasks needed.
Now that your assistance dog has learned the specialized tasks, and has reached maturity, the soon to be handler will come to Southern California for 9 to 14 days of handler training. Each lesson is approximately 2 - 3 hours a day. You will be asked to do homework while being introduced to your service dog as part of your training. You will also learn how to properly handle and care for your service dog. Here at Valley Service Dogs, we do not raise stuffed animals or infallible robots. Service dogs, while held to the highest of training standards, are still animals. With exceptional temperaments, hours and hours of training and thorough socialization, service dogs almost always manifest impeccable behavior. However, slip ups can happen; like a distracted dog losing focus on his or her handler. The defining influence will be in how the handler responds to the minor mistakes that may occur. We raise obedient service dogs, highly trained in basic, advanced and specialized task.
By the time you arrive for training, we have already put 600+ hours of training into your service dog. This includes socialization with a lot of field trips around San Diego County. Some have even gone to Texas on family trips with us. We cannot stress how important structure and consistency with your service dog is. Training never ends!! Later on during your stay, we begin structured field trips around many of the beautiful attractions in San Diego County. Sometime during these field trips you will go through a certification test. You may be told or you may not be told when it's being done. By your last day the two of you should be well on your way to becoming a great team and will have been certified by Valley Service Dog's. Remember that it will take about two months after you have received your dog and have gone through handler training for the two of you to get into a good routine. We will always be a phone call, email or text away from helping you with any question you may have. Here at Valley Service Dogs we specialize in Seizure Response and Alert Dogs, Psychiatric Service Dogs (including PTSD) and mobility assistance dogs. We also specialize in allergy friendly service dogs*.
All dog training is provided by Valley Service dogs Certified Trainers.
The cost of a service dog
At Valley Service Dogs we spend approximately $18,000 to train and place a service dog with a disabled person, which is why we require $18,000 of donations towards your dog before it is placed. There is no "profit", this is merely to cover the cost of preparing the dog for service. These costs include the cost of the dog (or breeding), veterinary visits, shots, food, grooming, shelter (including utilities), over 600+ hours of training with a certified trainer and special training equipment required for the service dog. In addition to this, not all dogs that have gone through all of the above expenses pass our certification, therefore the cost of the failed dogs have to be spread out across those dogs which are certified and ultimately placed with a recipient.
In order to shorten wait time and get you your dog as soon as possible, we strongly encourage our recipient families to engage in fundraising activities. Valley Service Dogs will assist you in this effort, and will fundraise on your behalf as well, but you have the greatest access to those who will be willing to give towards your dog (friends, family, co-workers, local community organization etc.) and we will direct you on how best to access these opportunities.
Many people have asked; when we reserve a specific dog to a recipient?
Our Board of Directors put into place a policy for reserving a specific service dog in training, in that we will only reserve/commit a specific dog in training for a prospective recipient once they have reached approximately 75% of their fundraising goal, which is about $10,000 of the $14,000 total we need to cover the cost of raising and training the dog. As we are a non-profit, that is the actual cost of acquiring, raising and training a certified service dog - we make no money off this, this is simply our passion. We were forced to institute this policy as several prospective recipients experienced significant changes in their life and no longer wanted/needed the service dog we had set aside for them or have made little effort to fundraise for their future service dog. This left us with a dog that has not only used up part of their service life, which is limited by definition, but also places additional costs on Valley Service Dogs, which as a non-profit, ultimately has to be passed on to other recipients to cover the cost. If you read through this website (our story), you will see that our goal is to keep the cost of our dogs as low as possible in an effort to make these service dogs more accessible to ALL in need.
*No dog can be truly guaranteed allergy free. We train breeds that have a much greater chance of not causing allergic reactions to those who suffer from dog allergies (Poodles, Labradoodles, Australian Labradoodles & Goldendoodles).
Office Hours: Mon-Fri 9am - 5pm
Closed Saturday & Sunday