Yesterday someone asked us if we knew of sources who could help with funding for Service Dogs. As all of you reading this blog probably already know, training a Service Dog involves a lot of work and time. Costs from a reputable trainer can reach up to $20,000, according to Susquehanna Service Dogs, a program of Keystone Human Services. Often that total amount is offset by private donations and very few people actually pay that much, but the actual cost to a handler can be quite considerable.
Raising that much money can be a daunting task for just about anyone. People have turned to friends, held small fundraisers, gotten help from local businesses and churches — and in one case even opened a lemonade stand to help cover the high cost of a Service Dog. But what if you are unable to raise money for your Service Dog? There are a few programs like the Assistance Dog United Campaign that help provide financial assistance. But be prepared for a wait. Even with their high cost, there is usually a waiting list for well trained Service Dogs. Some organizations like Pawsibilities not only train Service Dogs but also try to find sponsors to help pay for the dogs.
Take your time and do your research. See if you can meet with people who have received dogs from the trainer or organization you would like to get your animal from. Pairing with a Service Animal is an extremely personal decision for you, and one you will have to live with for years to come.
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