5 Stages of Placing a Service Dog

1st Stage: Application and Interview

Applications for service dogs are received and reviewed by 4 Paws for Ability. 4 Paws 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 contract is sent to the recipient.

2nd Stage: Contract

After the interview is complete, the contract is reviewed by the applicant. If the applicant decides to move forward, the contract is signed and returned to 4 Paws and the applicant formally becomes an active client with 4 Paws for Ability. The family then pays the fee or fundraises for their fee.

3rd Stage: Fundraising for Fee for Service

The fee for service is $17,000. Very few of our families pay out of pocket for their service dog. Fundraising is completed in their communities to help raise the fee. 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 service, 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 staff will finish and polish contracted training services in a 9-day intensive training session. Training will take place at the 4 Paws facility in Xenia, OH or in Anchorage, AK.

Upon completion of training, 4 Paws service dogs are required to be re-certified annually. This is a distance requirement – you do not have to travel to Xenia, OH annually.