Restoring Hope and Connections
Gaining confidence from these service dogs, veterans living with PTSD expand their lives, regain mobility and independence and re-integrate into their communities.
Our Service Dogs program is one that has been designed to provide dogs to veterans living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. We have seen substantial success placing dogs with servicemen and women whose PTSD prevented them from returning to their previously active lifestyle. These dogs help prevent or combat emotional overload using on-command tactile stimulation, assist the veteran in leaving/exiting anxiety-causing situations or locations, and provide tactile stimulation/mediation/sensory reintegration and orientation to time/place during dissociative episodes — all while offering their unconditional support and unceasing handler focus.
Our service dogs offer love and loyalty, and respond to commands that help restore stability and wellbeing. In public places or unfamiliar territory, the dogs check ahead and around corners for potential encounters that could become problematic for their handlers. The dogs’ physical needs provide a daily rhythm of structure and exercise. Our veterans report powerful stories of reconnecting with family and society once again.
Southeastern Guide Dogs is committed to providing you with exceptional customer service as you navigate our application process. The information below will provide you with a clear understanding of our application process and provide you with a checklist of the items that we will need to expedite your acceptance into our program.
Please read through all of the below eligibility and requirements information below before applying.
What people are saying…
“When chronic pain and PTSD collide in an existential crisis, medication and talk therapy are simply not enough. Foley fills the gap in traditional treatment as his mindfulness leads the way to healing.”Morgan Watt with Service Dog Foley
Service Dog Information
In order to qualify for this service, the applicant must:
- Be active, retired or inactive military and have been diagnosed with service-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) by a licensed health care professional
- If retired or separated, must be honorably discharged
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Reside in one of the 48 contiguous United States
- Be working in concert with either the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or a Wounded Warrior Advocacy Program
- Have no felony convictions.
The applicant must complete this Veteran Service Dog Application, which includes:
- Three (3) Personal References
- Mental health care provider ’s name and contact information
- Primary care physician’s name and contact information
- Consent Form
- Documentation of Military Service (an Official Memo signed by your Commanding Officer) is required of active military personnel; DD-214 must be provided for retired or separated service members)
In addition to the completion of the application, additional applicant screening will include a pre-admission phone interview and in-home evaluation with a Southeastern Guide Dogs’ staff member.
Upon receipt of the fully completed application and supporting documents as well as the completion of the phone screening and in-home interview, our Admissions Committee will evaluate your candidacy. Please note it can take up to two months to process your application. Once the committee has accepted you into the program, you will be contacted to discuss the next steps.
Once we have matched a dog to suit your needs and lifestyle, you will be contacted by Southeastern Guide Dogs to schedule your on-campus training. Our training program will require your attendance at Southeastern Guide Dogs’ Palmetto, Florida campus for 10 days of specialized training. During this training, you will learn to navigate locations and situations similar to challenges you may experience at home. Upon completion of the training program, we will execute an adoption agreement which will transfer ownership of the dog from the school to you.
Southeastern Guide Dogs provides its dogs and training to students free of charge. The school will provide the dog, equipment, training, housing and most meals during your training. There may be one or two meals off-campus for which you would be responsible but we estimate that this expense will be under $50.
Once you adopt one of our Veteran Service Dogs, the maintenance of your dog and all associated medical expenses become your responsibility. We estimate this cost to be between $900 and $1,200 annually.
Once accepted, the applicant is responsible for transportation to and from our Palmetto, Florida campus. If this creates a hardship, we may be able to assist you with your transportation needs.
To request an application, send an to email firstname.lastname@example.org.