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Susquehanna Service Dogs Application Process
- First you must send us a preliminary application form. You can also download a copy of the preliminary application and mail it to us at:
Susquehanna Service Dogs
ATTN Client Coordinator
555 Lesentier Lane
Harrisburg, PA 17112
- When we receive your preliminary application, we will contact you and schedule an interview. All interviews take place in the Harrisburg area, usually at Keystone Children & Family Services.
Keystone Children & Family Services
3700 Vartan Way
Harrisburg, PA 17110
- We will arrange a personal interview with you. At least two SSD representatives will meet with you, as well as a service or hearing dog to demonstrate the dog’s abilities. During the interview, you must interact positively with the dog, explain how a dog might help your independence, and demonstrate your ability to cover the daily expenses of the dog, which include food, heart worm medicine, vet bills and any replacement equipment.
- After the interview, if everyone agrees that a dog would be beneficial, we will provide you with a formal application packet. You and the appropriate people must complete the application and personal reference forms and return them to SSD with the $25 application fee.
- We will review your application and notify you when it is complete. We will then make arrangements to visit your home.
- We will contact you when we have dogs that could be possible matches, and we will arrange a meeting in Harrisburg so you can meet and work with several dogs. Please be aware that a match does not always happen the first time you meet the dogs.
- You will be notified when you have been matched with a dog. You will then need to go through the team training process with your dog, which we hold in February, June and October.
- Approximately four to six weeks before the scheduled team training, we will send you a specific schedule with locations, dates, release forms and payment information.
- Team training takes place in Harrisburg and lasts two and a half weeks. During this time, you will be responsible for your housing and meals. If you need an attendant and special transportation, you are responsible for providing them. We can sometimes offer assistance in these areas but we are not financially responsible for them. At this time, we do not have overnight accessible facilities, and we encourage you to return home on weekends.
In order to be considered for a service dog, individuals must meet the following requirements.
- You must provide a stable home environment and be able to meet the emotional, physical and financial needs of the service dog in some way.
- You must be mature enough and possess sufficient cognitive functioning to actively participate in the training and learning process during the final training of the service dog.
- You must be actively pursuing the goal of living independently and seeking to improve the quality of your life through the assistance of a service dog.
- There must be the reasonable expectation that your medical situation will enable you to work with the dog for several years. A medical review board will assist in screening candidates.
- You must be financially able to maintain your functional lifestyle during the transitional training phase with the service dog (approximately ten to fourteen days). We do not provide attendant care, transportation, housing, etc. during this period.
- All applicants will be considered regardless of race, sex, religion, creed, sexual orientation, ethnic origin or age.
All paperwork and the $25 application fee must be completed and received before team training between you and the dog can begin. The placement fee is due after successful completion of the certification test, when you will sign the contract for the dog.
If you have questions, please email ssd @ keystonehumanservices.org.