How do I know if I qualify for the program?
K9s For Warriors provides highly trained, accredited Service Dogs for servicemembers who became disabled while serving our country on or after 9/11/01. The disability does not have to be combat related. Applicants must have a verified, clinical diagnosis of PTSD, TBI, or MST to qualify for our program. At this time, K9s For Warriors does not provide Service Dogs to individuals who are legally blind or hearing impaired. We accept applications from all 50 states. Qualifying veterans can apply here.
What is the application process like?
The Warrior Relations department will go through the application, perform a background check and conduct a phone interview with the veteran applicant to learn more about his/her disability(ies), home and work environment, personality, and family. This information allows K9s For Warriors to train and provide the best dog suitable for each warrior's needs. Once accepted into the program, a class date is scheduled. Our team remains in constant communication with veterans on the waitlist to answer any questions, provide emotional support, as well as assist with travel to and from K9s For Warriors.
How long is the training and where is it?
In total, the training program is 21 days long. Warriors come to one of our two residential training facilities in Florida, either Camp K9 in Ponte Vedra, or Gold Family Campus in Gainesville. They stay for the entire time to be fully immersed in the training. While at K9s For Warriors, warriors are provided housing and meals in addition to their daily training, all at no cost. Our campuses are dry.
Do I get to pick my own dog?
No, you will not be able to choose which dog you are paired with. The pairing process is done by our warrior trainers and dog trainers who consider your personality, activity level, etc. and match you with the dog that will best meet your needs.
If I am accepted, how long will it be before I get my dog?
Once accepted, our waiting period is approximately 16-18 months long, but can change depending on a variety of factors. Our wait list is one of the shorter waiting periods of all similar agencies. If you're ready for a Service Dog, apply now.
I have a dog/puppy that I want trained. Do you do this?
K9s For Warriors does not train owned pets. This is because our dogs must meet very strict breed, height, weight, health & trainability criteria. We have over 60 kennels that house our hand-selected dogs who are formally trained before being paired with a warrior.
What is the cost of the dog and training?
K9s For Warriors is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and our service comes at no cost to our accepted warriors. The only cost is travel to and from the campus, and we even have outside resources to assist with that.
What documents are required with the application?
We require a letter from your clinician stating that you have been clinically diagnosed with service-connected PTSD and/or TBI and/or MST. The letter must also state that you are both mentally & physically capable of sustaining our 21-day training regimen. The completed “Mental Health Verification” form must be attached and filled out by your clinician.
We require the completed “Agreement to Support” Form. The veteran must provide names and contact information of two individuals who have agreed to provide support to the service dog team.
We require the member 4 copy of your DD214 that shows your signature & status of discharge.
We require a full-length photo for identification purposes.
How long is the application process?
Application processing can take anywhere from 1-4 weeks, depending on what documents you have available.
Is my spouse or caregiver permitted to attend training with me?
No, we do not allow visitors or caregivers to attend training with our warriors. We do this to give the warriors a chance to form a relationship with their dog without distraction. Violation of this policy will result in dismissal from the program.
Am I able to bring my personal weapon (firearm) on campus?
Weapons of any kind are NOT permitted on campus.
Will I be able to take my dog into a VA hospital or facility?
If you're ready to apply for one of our Service Dogs, click here.