Can I use my own dog for the program?
If your dog passes our evaluation and temperament test, it is possible they will be accepted into the program. Dogs must be under 4 years of age to go through the program. Most dogs who have been raised as pets, do not pass the evaluation, as they have ingrained habits that are difficult to erase. We cannot stress the importance of selecting a suitable candidate. A service dog candidate is focused, comfortable, friendly, well-behaved, and will be trained to accompany you in all of your daily activities in your home and in public.
What if I am unable to work the owner/trainer program due to physical limitations?
Hero P.A.W.S. will assist in finding a trained service dog for you from other organizations and work with you on the placement and training upkeep. If you are unable to handle the physical demands of caring for a dog, then a service animal may not be the right choice for your medical device.
What is the difference between a service animal and a therapeutic companion animal?
A service animal is trained to perform specific tasks to mitigate your disability and goes through a comprehensive training program to prepare them for public access. A therapeutic companion animal provides comfort and emotional support and as such is not granted public access rights under the ADA. Their training is not as intensive as a service animal.
Is your program just training dogs?
At Hero P.A.W.S. we are passionate about setting a good example as service dog advocates. With the training program, you can expect classroom training on ADA Accessible Laws as well as proper etiquette as a service dog handler and basic canine husbandry to properly care for your companion.
Is a service animal the right choice for my disability?
Using a service animal as a medical device can be more stressful than you think. This is something you should discuss at length with your physician. When you are in public with a service animal, be prepared to answer a lot of questions, to have people just stop and talk to your dog instead of interacting with you. When you use a service dog you must be prepared with clean up supplies, water, make sure they have emptied their bladder and bowels before long indoor periods. It takes longer to get ready to go on a simple errand with a service dog. People will be more apt to interact with you and your dog as opposed to not noticing you are there.