Go to work with and assist professionals such as physicians, teachers and counselors.
Facility Dogs (formerly Program Assistance Dogs) go to work with and assist full-time professionals such as physicians, certified special education teachers, counselors and other licensed therapists in the treatment of and work with their clients and students with disabilities. These dogs can provide a calming effect, allowing the professional to better serve or treat the clients. These dogs do not have public access except when accompanying the professionals and their clients.
If you are considering applying for one of our professionally trained dogs, please go over this page carefully, along with Application Requirements and Points to Consider, prior to filling out an application. Fill out your application completely and submit it to Dogs for Better Lives.
Only licensed professionals such as physicians, teachers, counselors, and therapists who work a minimum of 20 hours per week with their clients or students with disabilities are eligible to apply for a Facility Dog. Applications will be reviewed by the Application Screening Committee.
In-home interviews provide us with additional information on the applicants’ needs and lifestyles. A Dogs for Better Lives associate conducts this interview; all members of the household must be present for this interview appointment.
After the interview is completed and returned to us, the entire application packet will be carefully reviewed and a final decision made as to whether or not one of our professionally trained dogs is suitable for the applicant.
Dogs are matched with individuals based on the temperament of the dog and the lifestyle, personality, activity level, health, and environment of the person. We do not place dogs based on personal preference.
For a Program Assistance Dog, the waiting period is currently 6 months to 1 year from the time the person is accepted to receive the dog.
Program Assistance Dogs are accompanied by a trainer to the home of the client. The trainer teaches the client how to keep the dog working consistently and how to maintain the dog’s obedience training.
Following the placement, regular communication is required. The client reports regularly on the progress of the dog. When problems arise or the client has any questions, the trainer offers help and answers questions. In-home follow up is also done.
Dogs for Better Lives provides follow-up support for the life of the team.