Q: Who trains the service dogs?
A: Our dogs have three ways in which they receive their training over an 18 month to two-year period. Usually, after puppies get their second round of shots they enter the prison training program at one of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice facilities we partner with for basic training. Inmates are trained and supervised by Lori Stevens and her professional staff. Upon leaving the prison program the dogs go to one of our large group of volunteer puppy raisers for socialization training in their home. There they get exposure to many new experiences, such as children, other pets and learn how to behave in public. Patriot PAWS staff trainers work with the puppy raisers, address possible behavior issues, customize training to fit upcoming veterans' special needs, etc.
Q: How much does it cost to train a dog?
A: A Patriot PAWS mobility service dog will train for 18 months to two years. Training costs are approximately $33,000 for the two-year training period; donations and volunteers are crucial.
Q: Who should apply for a service dog?
A: Any American veteran with a service connected disability can apply for a Patriot PAWS service dog. This service is also available to other Americans with mobile disabilities. Once an application is accepted, an interview will be conducted and every attempt will be made to find a compatible match.
Q: How does Patriot PAWS get funding?
A: 100% of the money needed to care for service dogs-in-training is donated by private individuals and corporations.
Q: How do I apply for a service dog?
A: We are currently only accepting applications from veterans who served during Desert Storm to present for fully certified Service Dogs. Pre-Desert Storm veterans can apply for a social companion dog. These dogs can be very helpful within the home but DO NOT have public access. If you meet this criteria, click on the Service Dogs link in the top navigation bar and scroll down to "Service Dog Application Request". Fill out the request application and submit. You will be contacted by Patriot Paws within 21 days.
Q: May we donate our family pet to be a service dog?
A: Most service dogs are initially selected from breeders, local animal shelters, rescue groups, and service dog puppy raisers. They are carefully evaluated prior to selection and only the best of the best become candidates, graduate, and are certified. The selection process at Patriot PAWS is extensive. Although generous, please do not try to donate your family pet to Patriot PAWS.