1. Do I qualify for a Service Dog?
Applicants must live in San Diego County and have a mobility limiting disability. Paws’itive Teams does not train and place dogs for seizure response, hearing alert, psychiatric disabilities, autism, or developmental disabilities.
2. How to apply for a Paws’itive Teams Service Dog?
If you live in San Diego County and have a mobility limiting disability, complete the Pre-Application Form. Click here to fill out a pre-application form. Our Applicant Coordinator will contact you for additional information.
3. Is it OK to apply to other organizations?
Because we are a very small program and generally only place 2-3 dogs each year, we encourage all interested persons to apply to other service dog organizations. The best place to start is to check out the website for Assistance Dogs International as they have links to all their member organizations. www.assistancedogsinternational.org
4. How long does it take to get a service dog?
Placement decisions are made specifically to match personalities, skills, needs, and lifestyles of both dog and human partner. We do not have a place based on order of receipt of application. Therefore, we don’t have an official “wait list”.
5. Is there a charge for the dog?
The applicant for a service dog will be required to pay a $50 non-refundable Application Fee. Once a potential match has been identified, the applicant will be expected to contribute towards a portion of the cost of preparing the dog during the two years it is in the training program. The placement fee is $2,000. Paws’itive Teams will provide help and guidance if assistance is needed to complete this requirement. No person will be denied the opportunity to be considered as an applicant because of limited financial ability. Applicants and graduates are not required to participate in fundraising or public relations activities to support PT.
6. Will Paws’itive Teams certify my own dog?
Our structure does not enable us to work with dogs not owned by the organization and cannot certify dogs not trained by PT certified trainers.
7. I don’t live in San Diego but am willing to drive to San Diego for training. Is this ok?
It is important that all students live in San Diego county because of our extended 4-5 month transition training which includes weekly training sessions in the student’s home and periodic training outings to places the student frequents such as doctor’s appointments, work place, school.
8. Once I have my service dog, will you continue to help me if I need it?
Because we only place dogs with those living locally, we will continue follow-up support through the working life of the team.
9. What breeds do you use?
We generally work with Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and crosses of the two breeds.
10. Do I have to pay for expenses for my service dog once certified?
Yes, you are fully responsible for financial upkeep of the dog, including, but not limited to, dog food and veterinary care. Costs such as annual vaccinations, additional veterinary needs, dog food and dog toys may run upwards of $1,000 per year.
11. Will I own the dog after certification?
Paws’itive Teams will maintain ownership for the first year after certification. If, at the end of this probationary year, the team passes the Public Access Certification Test, the dog has maintained required weight, is being used effectively and has a balanced life, then ownership will be turned over to the graduate. However, even after this time, the team will be required to pass a bi-annual Public Access Certification Test to maintain certification under the Paws’itive Teams’ name.
12. What can I expect from my service dog?
Receiving a service dog is both an honor and a responsibility. While you come to depend on your dog for help and companionship, your dog will depend on you for food, shelter, medical care and proper exercise. A service dog may help you live more independently in your home and in public. While the abilities of your dog will amaze you, you must remember that the service dog is an animal and will exhibit dog-like behaviors such as shedding.