Post Traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be debilitating, but the PTSD service dog can help you deal with your situation. To get one, discuss your specific needs with your doctor, then apply to a recognized service dog program. While many programs offer seasoned and free service dogs for the first respondents, you may need to raise funds to cover your expenses. The final step of the process is a compulsory training course, where you will bond with your dog, practice it to give commands, and learn how to take care of it.
Applying for a Service Dog
Look for a program recognized by Support Dogs International (ADI). To avoid scams and inefficient trainers, make sure to apply to a recognized service dog program. To find reliable national and local programs, enter your location in ADI’s online search tool that serves your area.
Start your search at https://assistancedogsinternational.org/members/programs-search.
The search tool will generate a list of recognized programs with links to their websites. Click on the link to research the cost, application process and eligibility requirements for each program.
Review the costs incurred by potential programs. For information about eligibility and costs, check out frequently asked questions or pages about programs. In the US, many national organizations, such as America’s VitDogs and Warriors, provide PTSD services to dogs for K9s, military veterans and first respondents for free.
Other programs, such as service dogs for America, serve both veterans and citizens. Generally, dogs are not free to serve citizens; The total cost may be more than $ 20,000 (US). That said, service dog organizations that do not cover the general costs, usually help with fundraising efforts.
Fill an initial application online. Application procedures are slightly different, but submission of initial application is usually the first step. You will need to provide your personal information, enter your service and discharge details (if you are an experienced), answer the questions about your needs, and verify that you understand the responsibilities of caring for the service.
Some organizations require a mental health assessment and military discharge forms (if applicable) with initial application. For others, this additional paperwork comes later. Review your program website for specific steps of the application process.
The initial application can take 4 to 6 weeks to be processed. If you are approved, you will receive a letter with information about the next steps. Note that initial acceptance will not accept your full application.
Present your mental health assessment completed by your doctor. A licensed mental health professional should verify your diagnosis and confirm that you take part in medical sessions at least once a month. Their evaluation will include information about specific tasks that require a service dog to do you. The app will include an evaluation form or prom, which your doctor will fill in the program and match.
Before and after the application process, discuss your needs with your doctor. Ask them how to treat a service dog in your treatment plan. Keep in mind that a service dog is just a part of the treatment and does not replace ongoing mental health care.
Examples of tasks: Specific requirements vary, but the general PTSD service involves a person waking up from the night area, providing physical contact during a nervous affair and attracting the attention of the person away from the trigger in dog works.
Through telephone, if necessary, complete the person and interview. Within 3 to 4 weeks of submitting your application and supporting documents, the organization can set the time for phone interview with you. Phone shows are not required in every program, but almost everyone visits home. Do not try to overthrow the interviews; Be honest about yourself, your needs, and demonstrate that you are capable of caring for a service dog and caring for its needs.
Phone and in-person interviews also help the program staff match your needs, family and environment with a service dog.
Your doctor may need to sit for phone or person interview.
Wait for at least 6 to 8 weeks for your application to be processed. Expect to get the decision by mail within 8 weeks of submitting your completed application and additional paperwork. If you are approved, you will be placed in the most waiting list, which can be from 6 months to 2 years.
Calculation of initial application, usually takes 2 to 3 months in complete application process.
If your application is not approved, then generally you can not go back to any program. However, you can apply for any other service organization. If you are not approved, contact the program, ask why you are not eligible to receive a service dog, and tell their feedback in your next application
Affording a Service Dog
View a program that offers free service dogs. In the US, there are a number of programs that offer service dogs to the veterans and first respondents free. When you do research programs, look at service dog organizations who raise money to cover their clients’ expenses.
Tip: In addition, veterans can apply for benefits covering the cost of veterinary care. Your VA mental health provider applies on your behalf through Department of Veterinary Affairs, Mental Health Service Office.
Consult your program’s financial aid counselors after your acceptance. If your program does not cover dog costs, then they are most likely to provide financial assistance counseling. As soon as your application has been approved, start your fundraising efforts. Start by asking the Financial Support Consultants of your program about local and national grant programs, and get advice on planning successful funds.
In addition, ask your financial aid counselors whether you can set up a payment plan in your budget.
Apply for grants and scholarships. Search for “service dog donations” and online for your country and state. Your financial assistance counselor can also keep you in touch with nonprofits who offer donations and scholarships for services dogs.
Grant application processes vary, but you will need to confirm your personal and financial information, documentation of your diagnosis and approved by the ADI-accredited program.
You can also find financial assistance resources at http://www.iaadp.org including links to grant programs through the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners.
Start an online crowdfunding campaign. Create a page on crowdfunding platform like FirstGiving, Mightycause or GoFundMe. You need to get help setting up a crowdfunding site from your financial aid counselor. The organization will determine that money goes straight to them, and when you set up your page, you will have to enter their financial information.
When you create your page, explain your needs clearly, short, and openly. Describe your needs and the specific costs that you need to cover. Keep in mind that if you have any inconvenience, you do not need to share every detail of your disability.
Check your approval packet or ask your financial aid counselor to break costs. The cost of the item is included in the dog, 2 to 3 weeks mandatory training program for training program, travel and accommodation, and dog service vest and ID.
After setting up your page, share it on your social media account, and ask your friends, family and colleagues to do the same. You should also contact local newspapers and TV news stations. They may be interested in running a story on your fundraising efforts.
Organize fundraising programs with local businesses. Send an email, mail a standard letter or, if you are comfortable at public places, then go to a business to see if they want to be a participant in any event. You can ask from your employer, school, or place of worship whether they are interested in hosting a fundraising event.
For example, ask a restaurant in your area to see if they can host profits on your behalf. They can donate a sale of a specific menu item for the percentage of night sales or for your reason. They could also collect extra donations from your guests on your behalf.
The National Chain Restaurant often hosts Fundraiser to help people pay for service dogs. Private-owned businesses are also worth a shot, especially if you know that the owner cares for the reasons related to the mental health and service animals.
Completing the Training Program
Meet potential service dogs on 2 or more evaluations. The organization will introduce you to more than one dog, which match with you based on your application form and interview. You will meet potential service dogs in 2 or more assessments, then the organization staff will connect you with your new partner.
The employee of the organization will do your service dog who meets your needs, but your final approval will be there. Once you have matched you and your new dog will learn to work together in an intensive training course.
Matching procedures vary, so check your program for specific information.
Take a 2 to 3 week course while staying with a service dog. After you have approved and received the money (if applicable), you have to complete an individual training program. Typically, these classes are organized in the service organization, and you will be on the site in an apartment or hostel.
Some programs cover the cost of training programs, housing and transport. If you do not have one, then you can include these expenses in your fundraising goal.
In the training program, you will learn how to order your dog, how to take care of it, and about your rights as a service dog owner.
Practice giving commands to your dog with the guidance of trainers. Before your arrival, your dog spent 6 months to 2 years, who was about to learn which specific tasks you needed. When you come to the training program, the staff will show you the first time how to talk to your service dog.
For example, “cover” is a general PTSD service dog command you can practice. If you experience a panic episode, you can give commands. Then, depending on its training, your dog will make physical contact with you, recover the medication, or complete one more task to overcome your symptoms.
Tip: The main purpose of the classroom is to train with your dog, but building a bond is also important. Play together and spend as much time with your new best friend as possible. Instructors will advise sleeping with your service dog to strengthen your bond.
After finishing the class, get your service dog’s vest and ID card. At the end of the training program, you will receive your service dog’s gear and paperwork. If the organization did not cover the costs of a vest and ID, they were listed in the breakdown of your financial support and could be included in your fundraising goal.
In the US, you usually do not need to take registration paperwork or discuss the nature of your disability. However, airlines may need to show your service dog documents until 48 hours before your flight. They can also ask for a letter from your doctor and your doctor’s licensing information.
Complete any evaluation required for your program. The follow-up procedures vary according to the program, but you are most likely to have triennial home visits during the first year. After this, you may need to participate in a video or in-person training session every 1 to 2 years.
The program conducts only follow-up evaluation and training to ensure that your service dog is meeting your needs and providing you proper care. Even if the domestic visits in your program are not required, you still have to check through a telephone or video.
In addition, in most programs, customers are required to provide verification in every 1 to 2 years which they participate in monthly medical sessions.