All puppies that have sponsors (and they can have more then one each) will be those puppies that can be adopted by low or fixed income recipients with a minimal payment based on their income.
Many times, the sponsor will want to adopt the puppy at the end of training if the puppy doesn't make it through the entire program for whatever reason. Not all dogs make it as service dogs.
Sponsors have first choice of adoption. You would be receiving a very well trained dog who just couldn't make it in public. 99% of the dogs can learn the tasks, it's the public access that is tough.
$25/week to feed one dog. This includes chew toys, training treats and other special treats. We try to feed the best food out there and supplement with real meat and vegetables.
$500-$1,000 for initial veterinary care.
$500-$800/year/dog for maintenance veterinary care. This includes exams, bloodwork, vaccines, parasite preventatives, and other routine procedures.
$3000-$5000+ for emergency or specialty veterinary care. Accidents do happen and we like to be prepared, so each dog gets a savings account for this contingency. If not used it helps pay for the final adoption.
$300-$500 for customized service vest and accessories to fit specific needs of the service dog recipient. Occassionally this is more if specialized mobility harnesses are needed.
$8000-$12000 for rehabilitation and/or training. This process may take 6 months to 2 years depending on the dog's initial behavioral status and job they are being trained for. This includes outings to the airport, mall, restaurants, groomers, bookstore, and other homes that welcome us.
The average service dog costs us $8,000-$14,000. Every penny helps !
An assistance, mobility, stability dog should be able to do all the common behaviors, basic obedience behaviors and a few complex behaviors made up of the root actions. For instance, in order to bring in the newspaper the dog must: know the name of the paper and where it would normally be found; the sight and smell of a newspaper; be able to pick it up, hold onto it and bring it to the human; find the human by sight and/or smell; and give the newspaper to the human without having chewed on it.
All of these actions are the same whether the dog is being a mobility dog retrieving the newspaper or an assistance dog retrieving the wheel chair that drifted away.
An assistance dog can not only retrieve your newspaper but understand how to put clothes in the hamper and washer, put toys away in the toy box and pull your socks and shoes off your feet. The only limitation is you and your willingness to learn how to train "tricks" and take the time to do so.