Application Process

Five stages of placing a service dog

1st Stage: Application and interview

Applications for service dogs are currently received and reviewed by the 4 Paws Executive Director. The Executive Director makes a determination regarding the need of the applicant; the ability of 4 Paws to meet the applicant’s needs, and interviews the applicant to determine what the dog would be trained to do. Based on this need the training tasks are determined and the contracts are sent to the recipient. 

2nd Stage: Contract

After the interview is complete, the fee for a service dog and contracts are reviewed with the applicant. Upon receipt of the signed contracts from the applicant, the applicant formally becomes a 4 Paws for Ability Family. The family then pays the fee or fundraises for their fee. 

3rd Stage: Fundraising for Fee for Serivce

Most of our clients carry out fundraising to cover their fee for service.  Funds raised are sent to 4 Paws Headquarters in Xenia, Ohio, where money raised is deposited into the 4 Paws for Ability, Inc. bank account and credited to the families fee for service. 

The family is responsible to pay/raise the total amount stated in the contract to move to the 4th Stage. 

4th Stage: Class placement and service dog training

4 Paws
After the family has paid their fee for serivce, 4 Paws will place the family into a class. The class is that period of time the family come to 4 Paws to train with their new service dog. Dogs are selected for the class based on the children in them and their needs. More dogs are worked for each class than needed and several dogs are worked which may be a good match for each child in the class. Formal child-specific training is done in the months before the child comes to class.

Final Stage: Uniting the client and service dog

4 Paws & Client
Training is provided by the 4 Paws Training Director, Trainers, and Interns under the direct supervision of the Training Director. 

The Client, Service Dog, and Training Director will be united to finish and polish contracted training services in an 12-day extensive training session.

Upon completion of training, 4 Paws service dogs are required to be re-certified annually.