We all value our independence!
Paw’itive Teams places fully trained Service dogs with Veterans to assist with physical challenges as well for those with Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injuries.
Our mobility Service Dogs are trained to:
- Retrieve items dropped or out of reach
- Bring the phone in emergencies or on command
- Retrieve a wheelchair out of reach
- Put trash in containers or laundry in a basket
- Open or close doors, drawers, cupboards
- Take clothes out of the dryer
- Prevent serious falls by helping an ambulatory partner transfer
- Activate adaptive switches to aid with daily living chores
- Aid in undressing, including removal of shoes and sweatshirt
- Perform other specialized tasks required
Note that Paws’itive Teams Service Dogs program do not train and place dogs for the following:
- Seizure response
- Heart alert
- Developmental disabilities
- Diabetic Alert
- Guiding for visually impaired
- Do you live in San Diego County with no plans of moving out of the area for at least 12 months?
- Do you have a mobility limiting disability and/or mental health diagnosis such as PTSD?
- Are you physically and financially able to take full responsibility for the dog after certification?
- Are you willing to commit to a four to five month transition training, meeting with a trainer three times a week during this time?
- Can you provide a copy of your DD214 and status as Honorable Discharge
More info About Service Dogs for Veterans who suffer with PTSD
The primary focus for our service dog training program is to prepare dogs for those needing assistance with mobility related needs. However, we are now also placing dogs with suitable personality, temperament and training with veterans diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Considerations before completing the Pre-application form:
Being partnered with a service dog is a life-changing experience. While it can be empowering, it also comes with responsibilities and challenges and involves ongoing hard work and commitment. Before you proceed, please consider the following:
a. Privacy: How public are you about your disability? The presence of a service dog will signal immediately that you have a disability. Some strangers will ask you about the dog while others look or stare. How comfortable are you with this additional attention in public?
b. Time Commitment: In order for a dog to respond reliably to your needs, you must develop a strong bond and the ability to recognize the signal the dog is giving to you. Our training structure requires that you commit to working with our instructor for an average of 3-4 months (three times weekly) to learn effectively leadership skills, proper care for a working dog, dog stress signs and much more. Are you willing to make this level of commitment? You will also be require to reside in San Diego County for at least 12 months following the start of the transition training.
c. On Going Working Relationship: Service dogs are well trained and capable of performing a wide range of skills/behaviors to mitigate your disability. However, keeping up on this training is essential to maintaining a healthy relationship with your dog that requires disciplined practice in keeping the dog practicing learned skills regularly. Are you willing to continue the training process and keep the skills sharp on a daily basis, regardless of other stressors in your life?
d. Home Relationship: A service dog in your home (and work) impacts everyone around you. You will need to communicate with these people prior to proceeding with the application process. Will they welcome your greater independence or be threatened by it? How will it affect your relationship with them? Will they see the dog as a hindrance? How do those close to you feel about dog hair, occasional muddy paws, sloppy drinking or eating habits, rubbing against furnishings or clothing?
e. Logistics of canine partner: What kind of space do you live in? How and where will you provide exercise for a dog? What public places do you visit frequently? Do you ride public transportation? Will your work place be suitable for a dog?
f. Expenses and Responsibilities: The health of the dog is extremely important in order for the dog to be an effective partner. Are you willing (and able) to take the dog to the vet for annual check ups, keep up on vaccinations, groom regularly, trim nails weekly, check ears, provide a safe place for the dog at all times, even when it is expensive or inconvenient? Average annual veterinarian costs run approximately $1,000 (including vaccinations, annual health wellness checks, heartworm preventive medication, etc)
The Matching Process:
We wish we could provide a dog to each person who contacts us, but we are careful not to make promises we can’t keep as the match between dog and disabled handler is an important part of the formula for a successful team. We do not place dogs based on the date a person first contacts us. Because we are a small program and cannot guarantee a match for every applicant, we urge you to check the website for Assistance Dogs International as they have links to all their members’ organizations and many place dogs with veterans.
The Patriots Initiative
Paws’itive Teams has been accredited by The Patriots Initiative (TPI), and determined to be one of the finest in the nation supporting America’s armed forces service members, veterans and their families. The Patriots Initiative (TPI), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, focuses its efforts on evaluating and providing support to dozens of nonprofit organization across the nation. These nonprofit agencies, which are carefully evaluated and accredited by TPI, provide significant, effective services and programs specifically tailored for active duty military families, wounded warriors, and veterans. The TPI Board of Directors is comprised of proven professional and community leaders, many of whom have served in the military. The mission of TPI has been carried forward by a dedicated professional staff, which has raised charitable funds to support and honor marines, sailors, airmen, soldiers and their families.
Paws’itive Teams for Pre-Application for PTSD Service Dog Placement:
This is not a formal application. It is an inquiry so we can learn more about you as a potential applicant. We will not require the formal application process until we feel we have an appropriate dog. Be assured that all information related to your conditions and needs provided shall be held confidential by Paws’itive Teams. None of the information will be released to any agency or person outside Paws’itive Teams’ training team without your written consent. Potential applicants are screened to determine individual needs and the ability to benefit from a service dog and to provide a safe and healthy environment for the dog.
After receipt of the Paws’itive Teams Pre-Application for PTSD Service Dog Placement form, our Applicant Coordinator will contact you for additional information. Click here to start your Paws’itive Teams Pre-Application for Veterans Service Dog Placement.