Dogs2Vets

CAREFULLY REVIEW PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS PRIOR TO APPLYING

Dogs2Vets Overview

The human-animal bond provides a mutually-beneficial relationship between Veterans and their canine companions. The primary goal of our Dogs2Vets Program is to provide Service and Emotional Support Dog training to Veterans diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Through this program, unwavering bonds are formed between Veteran and Dog during a 6- to 18-month training process. After being accepted through a general application and interview, Veterans can expect to be enrolled into a six-week introductory course where they learn the foundations of our training model. Upon successful completion, Veterans will enter into private training with one of our professional trainers and be officially enrolled into the Dogs2Vets Program.

Program Requirements

  • Must be a Veteran and able to prove Veteran status or be in the later stages of discharge from service
  • Must have a service-connected disability rating for PTSD
  • Be able to provide a medical referral from current or previous clinician that shows proof of treatment for a period of no less than six months
  • Be able to describe in detail how a Service or Emotional Support Dog will directly impact your quality of life
  • Must reside within 1.5 hours of Clear Path for Veterans' main facility in Chittenango
  • Show the ability to provide support for the dog's physical and mental wellbeing
  • Must be able to show financial stability and have the ability to take on the annual costs associated with caring for a dog which can be up to $2,500 dollars plus any emergency-related care
  • Show the ability to grasp and implement training concepts during the period of the Veteran Introductory Course and throughout program enrollment
  • Must be able to commit to weekly training sessions for up to an 18-month period
  • Must be able to meet designated benchmarks according to the training timeline

Dog Requirements

For those interested in enrolling their currently-owned dog into the Dogs2Vets Program, the following is required:

  • Must pass a behavioral assessment conducted by our Animal Care Specialist upon conclusion of the Veteran Introductory Course
  • Must be 2 years of age or younger
  • Must be spayed or neutered
  • Must have a zero-bite history with people and other animals
  • Must accept strangers to include people of all categories
  • Must readily accept the presence of other dogs
  • Must be up-to-date on all vaccinations
  • Must receive a monthly flea and tick preventative

Breed Restrictions

Not all breeds are recommended for service dog training. Bully breeds or mixes can be a social barrier in providing a neutral bridge between the Veteran and the community. Bully breeds include, but may not be limited to: American Staffordshire Terrier, Bull Terrier, American Bulldog and Bull Mastiff. Clear Path does not take a stance against bully breeds, however, these breeds are not recommended for our owner/trainer service dog program. Bully breeds are accepted in all other training programs. Please note: Giant breeds are not accepted into the program if they are more than 3 years of age. If you are starting with a puppy, we highly recommend attending our puppy classes first. These are offered on Saturday mornings (please see our calendar). Puppies may take longer to bring through the program as maturity plays a role in a dog’s ability to do service and emotional support work.

Process

Note

We maintain an active list of applicants and regularly evaluate our waiting list. Please feel free to contact us directly if you have already applied and are still waiting for a response. You may send an email to Ryan@ClearPathForVets.com or call Clear Path for Veterans at (315) 687-3300 and ask to speak to someone in the Dogs2Vets Program regarding a previous application.