We have a lot of people ask us not only how to train a service dog, but how to actually go about obtaining one. I thought I may share with everyone a little about the process and how it works for our particular establishment.
Some organizations will breed, house, and train a service dog for you and sell it to you like you would obtain a car. Although we have no qualms with that way of operation, we simply provide a different method that we have found works well for the demographic we love to serve.
In most scenarios, a client will call us to inquire whether or not his/her current dog would be a ready and willing help-mate. We take every dog's chance at becoming a working citizen very seriously, so we offer a half-hour consultation. During the appointment, our trainer will evaluate your dog based on its current skill set, social interaction, and most importantly, WILLINGNESS to do the job. He will then give you a percentage based on his professional opinion of the likelihood your dog will make a quality service animal. It is then your decision to move on with training, or look for another animal to work with.
Another situation involves a potential client starting at square one, looking for a dog to do the job. Ellis GLADLY will work with you by going to shelters, and talking with and visiting breeders with you to assure a proper adoption that will create success for you as a handler-dog team in the future.
However, one of the biggest hiccups we encounter is how to fund this whole process. Obtaining a pre-trained dog through another program can cost you up to $30,000. It's a fair price for the product they have provided for you. We believe that you can save yourself massive costs by putting in the work of training the dog alongside our organization, as well as create a bond that will better both you and your companion for the rest of your working career together. Typically, and again this depends on the dog and your ability to put in the effort it requires to train the animal, total investment when working with us is only around $1500-3000. (Again this varies depending on your commitment and effort and the temperament of the dog.)
Regardless, we understand this can still put a strain on some people's budgets, so I've come up with a list of funding sources to turn to in your time of need. Please feel free to call or email us with any questions you have.
Service Dog Granting Organizations
Alaska Mental Health TrustAuthority
3745 Community Park LoopSuite 200, Anchorage AK 99508
Tel: 907-269-7960 Fax:907-269-7966
Alaska Community Foundation
Located at 3201 C Street, Suite 110, Anchorage,AK 99503
Phone: 907-334-6700 Toll Free: 1-855-336-6701 Fax: 907-334-5780
Matsu Health Foundation
950 E. Bogard Rd.,Suite 218 Wasilla, AK 99654
Phone: (907) 352-2863 Fax: (907) 352-2865
Assistance Dog United Campaign
5860 Labath AvenueRohnert Park, CA 94928
707 545-0800 Fax
Canines for Disabled Kids
255 Park Ave, Suite 601 Worcester,MA 01609
p: 978-422-5299 f: 978-422-7380
Chelsea Hutchison Foundation
National MS Society
3831 Piper St S410, Anchorage, AK 99508
National Autism Association –Helping Hands
One Park Avenue, Suite 1 Portsmouth, RI 02871
Phone: 877.622.2884 Fax: 401.293.5342
Austism Speaks – FamilyServices Grants
General information - 1.800.908.5803
Fax - 1.714.441.9327
The Hermie and Elliot SadlerFoundation
The Jamie McMurray Foundation
Try your local…
…Lions, Elks, and Rotary Clubs