- First you must send us a request for application form. You can also download a copy (PDF, opens new window) of the request for application form and mail it to us at:
Susquehanna Service Dogs
ATTN Partner Services Department Applications
1078 Gravel Hill Road
Grantville, PA 17028
- When we receive your application request form, we will review it, and if you meet our eligibility guidelines, we will then email you a formal application packet. If you do not have email, we can send a hard copy of the application, if requested. Due to a large number of requests, please allow us 15 business days to send your application. Please be aware that the waiting time to receive a service dog can be up to 2-3 years, depending on your needs.
- Once we have received all parts of your formal application, we will contact you to schedule an interview. All interviews take place at our facility in Grantville, PA.
- During your personal interview, SSD representatives will meet with you, as well as one of our demonstration dogs that can show some of the tasks a service dog can perform. 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.
- You will then be scheduled to have a home visit. The Partner Selection Committee will review your application, interview, and home visit to determine if you are eligible to receive a service dog. Once you are approved, you will be placed on the formal waiting list.
- SSD will contact you when we have dogs that could be possible matches, and we will arrange a meeting in Grantville so you can meet and work with several dogs to evaluate their potential as your service dog. 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 at our facility in Grantville, PA and the surrounding Harrisburg area and lasts two and a half weeks for a full service dog, one and a half weeks for a facility dog, and one week for an in-home service dog. During this time, you will be responsible for your transportation, housing, and meals. If you need an attendant and special transportation, you are responsible for providing them. At this time, we do not have overnight accessible facilities, and you are responsible for finding hotel/motel accommodations, if needed. We encourage you to return home on weekends if reasonable.
- The fee for service and minimum down payment are due 4–6 weeks prior to your team training.
- Upon successful completion of the certification test, you will sign the contract for your service dog.
- All of our service dog teams must complete an annual recertification evaluation. We will also provide follow-up sessions on a regular and as-needed basis to ensure our dogs continue to do the job they were trained to do.
The goal of a service dog is to enhance an individual’s life and provide further independence. 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. Individuals will need a good support system in place for the care of their service dog.
- 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.
- You must be financially able to maintain your functional lifestyle during the two and a half weeks of team training with the service dog. 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, or ethnic origin.
- Pet dogs must be able to socialize well with other dogs, and they must be spayed or neutered prior to placement of a service dog in your home.
- Both legal parents/guardians must be agreeable to having a service dog for the child.
- Children must be at least 5 years old at the time of application.
- All paperwork and the $25 application fee must be completed and received before you can receive formal approval and be invited to meet any dogs.