IS AN ASSISTANCE DOG RIGHT FOR YOU?Often the remarkable skill of our Assistance Dogs overshadows the tremendous commitment and dedication that is required of our clients to make a successful team. Consider the following before submitting an application.
Do you want a dog to help you?
Assistance Dogs will sometimes have an off day, get sick or even get lazy if they aren’t motivated to work, but we’ve found that the more committed the human is to the team, the more the dog will give back. Like humans, each dog has their own distinct personality and little quirks, and we put a great deal of effort into matching you with the right dog for your personality and abilities.
Are you ready for a dog to change your life?
Dogs are amazing icebreakers, and with an Assistance Dog you are guaranteed to meet new people, make friends and find smiles everywhere you go. But you will also have to learn to politely refuse people’s requests to pet your dog, and sometimes you will wish to just fade into the crowd. One client told us that before her Assistance Dog she felt like she was invisible, but with her dog she felt like her disability was invisible.
All dogs are a long term financial, physical and emotional commitment, and an Assistance Dog even more so. An Assistance Dog ready for placement has spent two years preparing to work for a human partner, and the client will spend only two weeks in a training class to learn everything the dog knows and how to handle and care for their new partner. For those who are willing to commit to the process long term, the rewards are limitless.
Do you need a PADS dog?
We raise and train highly skilled Assistance Dogs. If you are disabled but merely looking for a companion to keep you company or bark when the doorbell rings, we’d be happy to consider and application for a VIP (Very Important Pet). If you don’t have a disability you can apply for a released dog or you may consider adopting a dog from your local SPCA.
Can you afford to care for a dog?
You will be responsible for the ongoing care and upkeep of your PADS’ Dog, this includes (but isn’t limited to) food, treats, toys and veterinary care.
PADS retains ownership of its dogs throughout the dog’s working life, but our training staff are available to you for that entire time as well. The $30,000 or more that it costs to breed, raise and train an Assistance Dog is covered by funding support from our generous corporations, foundation grants, individual donors and PADS’ ongoing fundraising efforts. The only costs clients pay to PADS is a modest application fee and a course fee when they attend training with their dog.
Do you meet the minimum requirements?
Are you physically disabled (Service Dogs), deaf/hard-of-hearing (Hearing Dog) or do you work in a therapeutic setting (Accredited Facility Dogs)?
Are you a resident of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba?
If your injury was caused by an accident are you at least one year post-trauma?
If you are interested in applying for a Service Dog, are you at least 16 years of age?
Currently, PADS is Unable to Provide
- Training or certification for self-trained dogs or pets
- Seizure Alert or Seizure Response Dogs
- Autism Dogs
- Psychiatric Assistance Dogs
- Guide Dogs
For information on these types of dogs visit Assistance Dogs International to find a reputable program.