Please click on the link below to complete and submit the online application form. For veterans,we will need a copy of your DD 214 at the interview
· Applications for the 4 Paws 2 Freedom Service Dog Program will be accepted regardless of race, sex, or religious preference.
· Applicant must live within 100 miles of program headquarters.
· Applicant must be able to meet the physical and financial needs of an assistance dog.
· Applicant must be actively pursuing the goal of independent living and seeking to improve the quality of his/her life through partnership with an assistance dog.
· Applicant must agree to follow through with all aspects of the current application process, to complete team training, and to abide by all program policies, procedures and follow-up guidelines.
· Applicant must be disabled by the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
· Must be a Veteran* or a First Responder** to receive the training at no charge.
· Applicant must be physically and emotionally able to train their own service dog.
*Veteran- served in the United States military
**First Responder defined as a person who has a trauma resulting in PTSD as a result of Public Service Action
. Students are responsible for the costs:
· to obtain their dog
· Veterinary care for their dog including vaccinations, flea and tick preventative, and heartworm preventative
· Feeding and maintenance of their dog
· Training Supplies
· Boarding if needed
· Spay or neuter of dog
· Microchip and identification tags for their dog
· Boots, seatbelt for traveling with their dog
· Dog Treats and poop bags
· Yearly veterinary health check for dog
· Travel to weekly classes
There is no charge to Veterans or First Responders to take the service dog training course through 4 Paws 2 Freedom. All other costs for the care, medical and maintenance of the dog lies solely with the student.
After we receive your application we will send through email a Daily Dog Journal (along with instructions). We ask you to take the next 7 consecutive days completing it. Then submit the document to our admissions department for review.
The 4 Paws 2 Freedom Service Dog Training program requires you to commit time each day to logging your progress and practicing with your dog. This exercise will help you determine if your life and schedule will permit you to succeed with this daily routine during the 9+ months of the course.
We will also be sending you a release of information form. We will be sending a letter to your Primary Care Physician and your Mental Health Provider to let them know you have applied for a service dog. Once we receive your completed Release of Information Form(s) we will schedule your interview.
If you already have a dog you would like to train, please click on the link below to determine if your dog has what it takes to be a service dog.
If you do not have a dog or you feel like the dog you have will not meet the requirements then it is time to look for the partner than can help you with your PTSD. Please click on the link below and DOWNLOAD this information and show it to the rescue/ shelter/breeder so they know what you are looking for. It is important to let the rescue/shelter/breeder know that you are looking for a service dog (NOT A PET). If the dog you choose ends up not being who you need, you will need to return it. If they have questions about this they are welcome to contact us.
We are available to assist you with this process. Please contact us at 916-966-6758 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org (or click on "CONTACT" at the bottom of this page), and one of our trainers will contact you.
Finding the best dog to become your service dog is very important. Note that for many people choosing an adult dog from a rescue/shelter organization may require bringing home several dogs before they find the right fit. It is important that you are prepared to return the dog if they are not a good fit. Dogs in shelter or rescue environments can behave very differently when you meet them than they do once they are comfortable in your home. You will likely see a change in the dog after about 48 - 72 hours of being in your home. Sometimes the behaviors are better after they are comfortable, other times they are not. At this time, review the list of behaviors from FINDING THE RIGHT DOG to determine if this dog has what it takes! If you are not sure, or if you have questions, please contact us. PLEASE DO NOT GIVE UP if the first dog you bring home does not work out. The right dog is out their waiting for you to find them!
Remember... This is not a Pet! The dog must be able to work and do a job that requires them to be in new situations and surrounding, and not all dogs have this particular gift.
All Service Dogs must be in Excellent health in order to become Certified through 4 Paws 2 Freedom.
Dogs that have disabilities will not be able to participate in our Service Dog Program. Working dogs need their bodies to be in top condition to perform their best and to help you.
To be admitted into the 4 Paws 2 Freedom Service Dog Program your veterinarian must complete the Veterinary Recommendation and agree that your dog is healthy enough to be a working dog.
The Veterinary Recommendation is a physical exam. It does not require xrays or blood work other than the heartworm test unless the veterinarian feels there is a problem.
Please DOWNLOAD the Veterinary Recommendation below. Schedule a physical exam for your dog and give the Veterinary Recommendation to your veterinarian to complete. Please bring this with you to the Group Evaluation or the Interview. If you have questions or concerns, please contact us. DURING COVID, PLEASE EMAIL OR MAIL THIS INFORMATION TO US.
DURING COVID, WE WILL NOT BE HAVING IN-PERSON EVALUATIONS.
The 2nd Tuesday of each month, from 2-3pm we offer a group evaluation for applicants and their dogs. This takes place at our location in Rancho Cordova. You and your dog are required to attend this before we schedule the interview.
The group evaluation lets our training staff see how your dog works around other dogs and in a new situation. And we get to know you a little better and answer any training questions you might have.
During the one hour interview we will determine what tasks you would like your service dog to do to assist you. We will discuss your needs and start the enrollment process.
We will also schedule a brief interview with a spouse or other adult loved one(s) in your life, to discuss how they can support you and your new service dog.
At this time, we will be asking you to submit a significant amount of paperwork. Most of this will be done online. We must have all your paperwork submitted before you will receive acceptance into the program.
DURING COVID, INTERVIEWS WILL BE HELD ONLINE
After the Interview your file will go to our Admissions Department who will review it. A letter of acceptance or denial will be sent to you. We offer many classes at various locations throughout the year. Based largely on your input, our Admissions Department will determine which class will be the best fit for you and you will be given the schedule for the class you are enrolled in.
Depending on the wait for your class to begin, we may send you to one of our weekly obedience classes in the interim. There is no charge for you to take this extra class.
We do not want you to ever feel like you are in this alone. Our staff is here to help you. If you have questions, please contact us.
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