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Dog Applicants

Eligibility

If you are interested in applying for an Assistance Dog from Warrior Canine Connection (WCC), please review the eligibility requirements below for information on the types of dogs we provide and the application process.

After reviewing the following information, if you feel you meet these eligibility requirements, we invite you to fill out an inquiry form. Please note that the inquiry form is not the full application.

General Eligibility and Non-Discrimination Policy:

To be eligible to receive an Assistance Dog from WCC, the applicant must satisfy the eligibility requirements stated here and in the program materials. WCC is committed to providing its services and administering its programs in a nondiscriminatory manner, and in accordance with applicable law. All applicants and program participants are treated equally and we do not discriminate on an individual’s race, sex, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sexual orientation, age, gender identity, gender expression, genetic characteristics, or any other basis prohibited by law. WCC is further committed to treating all Veterans with dignity and respect at all times.

General Eligibility Requirements:

WCC trains and places Service Dogs to assist Veterans with mobility impairments and/or to help mitigate the symptoms of service connected Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). We also train and place Assistance Dogs that work in other capacities, such as Facility Dogs and Military Family Support Dogs. Each type of placement has specific eligibility requirements, which are further explained below.

Please note that assistance dog training is a specialized field, and while we work with Veterans who have a variety of disabilities, our dogs are not specifically trained as Guide Dogs (assist blind and visually impaired individuals), as Hearing Dogs (assist deaf and hard of hearing individuals) or any category of Medical Alert dogs. Please also note that Service Dogs are not intended as a substitute or replacement for medical interventions otherwise recommended by a healthcare provider.

There is no fee for the dog or for the training.

Service Dog Applicants:

  • Be a Veteran, or in the later stages of the process of medical evaluation for separation from the military.
  • Have a referral or recommendation, and the support of your healthcare provider for obtaining an assistance dog.
  • Have a qualifying disability that impacts your quality of life, independence and ability to engage in activities of daily living. Qualifying disabilities include physical injury, service-connected PTSD, and/or TBI.
  • Applicants who apply for a Service Dog to assist with mitigating the symptoms of PTSD must complete a behavioral health history and provide us with permission to allow our client services team to communicate directly with your providers.
  • Applicants must be able to describe relevant history, such as effective and ineffective coping strategies, psychological triggers, which traditional evidence-based interventions you have tried in the past and how they worked or did not work, and how you believe that an assistance dog would help increase your independence and engagement in daily activities.
  • Be willing and able to provide for the dog’s physical, emotional and financial needs.
  • Applicants who apply for a Service Dog to assist with physical disability must have completed their in-patient rehabilitation program and/or be at least one (1) year post-injury/on-set of disability.
  • If applying for a Service Dog to assist with mitigating symptoms of PTSD, you must be successfully engaged in your individualized treatment program for a minimum of six months.
  • Strive to have a positive, “can do” attitude and effectively implement emotional regulation tools/techniques as needed.
  • Have a stable home environment, the support of all other household and family members, and be comfortable allowing us to help evaluate the suitability of your home environment.
  • Have a desire for more independence.
  • Be financially stable.
  • Have an open mind and willingness to learn.
  • Be able to attend an intensive two-week Team Training Camp at WCC’s Healing Quarters in Maryland, as well as cover your airfare, accommodations, and transportation. In some cases, WCC may be able to assist Service Dog applicants with certain accommodation and transportation costs.

Military Family Support Dog (MFSD) Applicants:

  • Must be an active duty Service Member or a Veteran whose family would benefit from a dog.
  • Have a referral or recommendation, and the support of your healthcare provider for obtaining a MFSD.
  • Be able to describe your need for a MFSD to help facilitate family relationships.
  • Be willing and able to provide for the dog’s physical, emotional and financial* needs.
  • Strive to have a positive, “can do” attitude and effectively implement emotional regulation tools/techniques as needed.
  • Have a relatively stable home environment and support of all other household members.
  • Be financially stable.
  • Have an open mind and willingness to learn.
  • Be able to attend an intensive one-week Team Training Camp at WCC’s Healing Quarters in Maryland, as well as cover your airfare, accommodations, and transportation.

Facility Dog Applicants Must:

  • Work in a treatment or healthcare facility that provides care for active duty Service Members or Veterans.
  • Be able to describe how a Facility Dog would provide support for the population that you serve.
  • Be willing and able to provide for the dog’s physical, emotional and financial needs.
  • Have a positive, “can do” attitude.
  • Have a stable home environment and support of all other household members.
  • Have full support of the clinical team and leadership at your facility.
  • Be financially stable.
  • Have a open mind and willingness to learn.
  • Be able to attend an intensive one-week Team Training Camp at WCC’s Healing Quarters in Maryland, as well as cover your airfare, accommodations, and transportation.

If you feel you meet these eligibility requirements and would like an application, or if you have additional questions, please email the Client Services Team.

*The following are estimated yearly costs for a service dog. The actual cost will vary depending on location.

Food                                       $480 – $600
Toys/Treats/Misc.                   $200 – $500
Monthly Preventatives            $360 – $480
Veterinarian Visits                   $200  – $500

Total:                                       $1,240 – $2,080

Emergency Care:  One visit can cost a minimum of $1,000!