Service & Companion Animals
What are service dogs?
A service dog is trained to help those with disabilities other than visual or hearing impairment. Service dogs typically perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a physical or hearing disa bility.
How do I get a service dog?
- Each Veteran’s case is reviewed and evaluated by a prescribing clinician for the following:
- Ability and means, including family or caregiver, to care for the dog currently and in the future
- Goals that are to accomplished through the use of the dog
- Goals that are to be accomplished through other assistive technology or therapy
- The Veteran will be informed of an approval or disapproval of their service dog request. Veterans approved for service dogs are referred to Assistance Dogs International-accredited agencies. There is no charge for the dog or the associated training.
What benefits does VA provide?
Veterans with working service dogs are provided veterinary care and equipment through VA Prosthetics and Sensory Aids. VA does not pay for boarding, grooming, food, or any other routine expense associ ated with owning a dog.
Resources for Obtaining Service Animals
3639 Midway Drive, Suite 376
San Diego, CA 92110
Teams Specialty Service Dogs with veterans with PTSD and physical limitations. Two programs are offered: the Partner Program that pairs a wounded warrior with a Specialty Service dog and their trainer on a short term, intermittent status, or the Partner for Life Program which permanently places the Specialty Service Dog with the wounded warrior. Both of these programs are offered at no cost to the military personnel.
1-866 VETDOGS (866-838-3647)
Uses guide dogs, service dogs, and innovative technology to help disabled veterans.
Canine Companions for Independence
124 Rancho del Oro Dr
Oceanside, CA 92057
Trains specially bred dogs to assist disabled persons with tasks they are unable to perform. Applicants must complete a 2-week training course at the CCI facility and pass a series of written and field tests prior to receiving a dog.
Canines for Service
National program that provides Veterans with mobility issues, traumatic brain injury, post traumatic stress disorder and other disabilities with trained service dogs.
Freedom Service Dogs
Freedom Service Dogs (FSD) trains rescue dogs to assist and provide companionship for people with permanent disabilities. Veterans are placed with highly specialized service dogs that help them find a new level of independence in their post-combat life.
Mutts with a Mission
Trains rescue and shelter dogs to assist American Veterans and Wounded Warriors who have physical and psychological disabilities so that they
may once again regain their independence and freedom. Individuals can inquire about the application process online. This website has a slightly different mission statement, and the organization has moved to Virginia. They are accepting donations, and there is information available, but they currently do not have a place to train in.
9225 Chesapeake Drive, Unit B
San Diego, CA 92123
Provides service dogs for persons with disabilities, enabling these persons to live more independent lives and to achieve an enhanced quality of life.
Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs, Inc.
Offers the At Ease Service Dog Program, which trains and provides service dogs to Wounded Warriors to facilitate their return to public life as independently as possible. Addresses the unique requirements of veterans by matching the needs and personality of the individual to the dog’s strengths and personality. The dog, the personalized training and the follow-up are all prov ided at no cost.
Trains and provides service dogs at no cost to disabled American veterans and others with mobile disabilities in order to help restore their physical and emotional independence.
Canines for Combat Vets
Trains and provides assistance dogs to veterans with hearing, mobility and other disabilities.
K9s for Warriors
Provides service dogs to wounded service members. More specifically, they provide service dogs to service members with PTSD.
Companions for Heroes (formerly Pets 2 Vets)
Companions for Heroes (C4H) provides companion animals, skilled companion dogs, and service dogs obtained from shelters and/or rescues, who might otherwise be euthanized, free of charge to active duty military personnel, military veterans, and first-responders recovering from the psychological challenges they suffered during service to our country.