Service Dog Client Application Process

The description below is an overview of the application process for a PAALS Service Dog. The process is described in more detail and with greater specificity in the Cover Letter which is included with each application package.

Once a completed application, medical release form, background information release authorization and a DD214 form (discharged military veterans only), application fee and reference letter have been received by PAALS; an initial interview is set up. After the initial interview has been conducted, it is followed by an in-home interview with an assistance dog in training. Video and pictures are taken whenever possible during dog handling times and to get a view of the applicants living environment.

All of the application documentation is presented to the Client Review Committee. This group of professionals typically includes a psychiatric nurse, a guide dog user, a rehabilitative engineer, a dog trainer and the executive director. An application checklist is reviewed to ensure that more information is not needed. Once all the concerns have been addressed, a vote is taken to decide whether it is appropriate to accept the applicant as a PAALS client.

A request can be made by the Client Review Committee to gather additional information and/or ask the applicant to participate in additional dog handling sessions. Additional medical information may also be requested.

Once the Client Review Committee makes a decision about acceptance, the applicant is notified via phone and/or by letter. The process of fundraising to cover Team Training tuition then begins (for applicants not funded by Rob’s Best Friend Fund). A volunteer assistant client coordinator or another assigned volunteer/staff member will invite the client to special events and keep them apprised of potential team training dates.

All applicants are considered regardless of race, color, creed, gender, religion, marital status, age, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition including genetic characteristics, pregnancy, sexual orientation, citizenship status, military service status, or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state or local laws.

PAALS reserves the right to put an approved application on hold if the applicant has had a major life change since the application was approved or plans to have such an event in the near future. PAALS also reserves the right to deny an application at any point in time.