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Apply for a Dog

If you are interested in applying for a Service Dog, please review the eligibility requirements below, types of dogs we provide, and the Assistance Dogs of Hawaii application process.

If you meet the requirements, please contact the Assistance Dogs of Hawaii office to schedule a phone interview. Application packages are sent out after completion of the phone interview. You must be able to demonstrate a need for a Service Dog and to describe the ways in which a dog will increase your independence and assist you.

You may refer to our Frequently Asked Questions page for further information.

ELIGIBILITY
General Eligibility Policies: To be eligible to receive an Assistance Dog from Assistance Dogs of Hawaii, the applicant must satisfy the eligibility checklist that follows. All applicants or potential applicants are considered equally regardless of race, sex religion, or any other categories protected by law.

Applicants must:

  1. Have a physical or developmental disability and be able to demonstrate how an Assistance Dog will help increase their independence.
  2. Be willing and able to provide for the dog’s physical, emotional and financial needs.
  3. Have a positive, “can do” attitude and no anger management problems.
  4. Have a fenced yard or contained area.
  5. Be at least one year out of rehab or post-injury/on-set of disability
  6. Have a stable home environment
  7. Have a desire for more independence
  8. Be emotionally and mentally stable
  9. Be financially stable
  10. Have a teachable attitude
  11. Be able to attend an intensive two week Team Training Camp on Maui, pay the $500 tuition, as well as cover airfare, accommodations, and transportation. In some cases Assistance Dogs of Hawaii may be able to assist with accommodation and transportation costs.

Eligibility Requirements
Assistance Dogs of Hawaii trains and places Service Dogs, Social Therapy Dogs, Skilled Companion Dogs, Seizure Response Dogs, and Facility Dogs. Applicants must agree to follow Assistance Dogs of Hawaii’s and ADI’s standards of care and ethics for working dogs, including adhering to all exercise, health and training regiments. In addition, all applicants must commit to maintaining the training level of each dog and give it opportunities to use its skills. Applicants must also attend a 2-3 week training camp on Maui and participate in ongoing follow-up visits and training for the lifetime of the partnership.

SERVICE DOGS:

  • Applicants must be at least 10 years old.
  • Applicants must have a physical disability including but not limited to Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Spinal Cord Injuries, Lupus, Amputations, or Paralysis, which could be helped by the presence of a Service Dog.
  • Applicants must have a stable home environment, a desire for more independence and a positive attitude.
  • Applicants must be at least one-year post injury or onset of disability.

SKILLED COMPANIONS:

  • Applicants must be at least 5 years old.
  • Applicants must have a physical disability including but not limited to Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Spinal Cord Injuries, Lupus, Amputations, or Paralysis, which could be helped by the presence of a Service Dog.
  • Applicants must have a stable home environment, a desire for more independence and a positive attitude.
  • The applicant must have a committed support network to facilitate and assist the team receiving a Skilled Companion Dog.
  • An adult family member must attend training camp and be the primary handler for the dog.

SOCIAL THERAPY DOGS:

  • Applicants must be at least 5 years old.
  • Applicants must commit to using the dog in social therapy settings and maintaining its level of training.
  • Applicants must have a stable home environment, a desire for more independence and a positive attitude.
  • Applicants must have a physical or developmental disability that could be helped by the presence of a Social Therapy Dog.
  • An adult family member must commit to training camp and to being the ongoing handler for the dog.

SEIZURE RESPONSE DOGS:

  • Applicants must be at least 5 years old.
  • Applicant must experience seizure activity with a severity and frequency for which a seizure response dog’s skills would be beneficial.
  • Applicants must have a stable home environment, a desire for more independence and a positive attitude.

FACILITY DOGS:

  • Applicants must be health care professionals and commit to using the dog as part of the services they provide.
  • Applicants must be a director or employee of an institution providing services for people who could benefit from the skills of a Facility Dog.
  • Applicants must agree to be the dog’s primary handler and take responsibility for its ongoing expenses, training and care.
  • Applicants must have a stable home environment, a desire to help people and a positive attitude.