To qualify for an assistance dog through our program, applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:
- Live within a 4-hour driving radius of Grantville, PA and have the ability to travel to our facility a minimum of 3 times.
- Obtain documentation from a medical and/or mental health professional confirming a disability.
- Attend a 2.5 week Team Training session in Grantville, PA prior to placement at their own expense and provide their own transportation, lodging, meals, and attendant care, if needed.
- Participate in a home visit that includes all household members.
- Have realistic expectations of tasks an assistance dog can perform to mitigate a disability. Our program does not train medical alert or guide dogs. See Our Assistance Dogs for more information.
- Possess sufficient cognitive and physical functioning to actively participate in the lifelong training and care of the assistance dog.
- Provide a safe, stable home environment to ensure the health and welfare of the assistance dog.
- Ensure that the assistance dog has adequate daily exercise.
- Provide annual dog supplies and veterinary services averaging $1,200 per year.
- Continue the training program that SSD begins for the team throughout the working life of the dog.
- Have back-up care arranged for the assistance dog in case of a personal emergency.
- Ensure household pets are able to socialize well with dogs and are spayed or neutered and over the age of 12 months prior to placement of an assistance dog in your home.
- Keep SSD apprised of any changes that affect any of the above after the application is accepted.
All applicants are considered regardless of race, sex, religion, creed, sexual orientation, or ethnic origin. Children must be at least 5 years old at the time of application and parents/guardians must support having an assistance dog for the child.
How to Apply for an Assistance Dog
To begin the process of applying for an assistance dog, please complete an application request online. If you are unable to complete the request online, you can download an application request (PDF, opens new window) and mail the completed form to Susquehanna Service Dogs, 1078 Gravel Hill Road, Grantville, PA 17028. Please allow 15 business days for review of your request.
Once your request has been reviewed, you will be notified regarding the status of your request via email. If you meet the minimum eligibility requirements, you will receive a formal application along with additional details regarding the application process.
* Please note that our waiting list for an assistance dog may be 2 to 4 years, depending on your needs.