Service Dog Client Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for a PAALS service dog, clients must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be 16 or older to have independent service dogs. PAALS will consider younger facilitated team placements. A facilitated team placement means that a parent/guardian will be responsible for giving cues to the assistance dog.
  • Must live within 230 miles of PAALS facility in Columbia, SC. PTSD and Autism applicants only must live within 120 miles of PAALS facility in Columbia, SC.
  • PTSD applicants must be in consistent (at least once a month) therapy for at least six months.
  • Adult applicants (and the parent/guardian facilitator of a facilitated assistance dog team) must pass a background check.
  • Discharged military veterans must provide a DD214 form.
  • Must be able to provide a safe environment.
  • Must be able to provide dog with exercise daily.
  • Must be able to afford annual dog supplies and veterinary services averaging $1,000 per year.
  • Must have no more than one additional dog living in the home with the PAALS dog.
  • Must have a stable living situation for a minimum of year before placement.
  • Must have explored potential employment and housing conflicts.
  • Must be willing to send follow-up paperwork proving medical care and continued training to PAALS after placement of assistance dog.
  • Must be able to attend a two week team training session in Columbia, SC prior to placement at their own expense and to provide their own transportation, housing, meals and care attendant if needed.
  • Must have realistic expectations of tasks/roles a dog could perform which could assist a person with a disability and/or a a teacher, counselor or therapist who work with people with disabilities (facility dog).
  • Must have back-up care arranged for assistance dog in case of an emergency.
  • Must be willing to continue the training program that PAALS begins for the team throughout the working life of the dog.
  • Must keep PAALS apprised of any changes that would affect any of the above after application is accepted.
  • Must treat PAALS dog with unconditional love!
Download Eligibility Requirements

if you do not meet one or more of PAALS client eligibility requirements, here are some resources to assist you with finding a service dog.