General F.A.Q.

1. How Do I Apply for an Assistance Dog?
2. How Old Do I Have to be to Receive An Assistance Dog?
3. What Types of Disabilities Do You Train Dogs to Accomodate?
4.  Once the Assistance Dog Successfully Completes Training, Who Owns It?
5. Can My Assistance Dog Live in a Home With Other Pets?
6. I’m Interested in Becoming a Puppy Trainer.  How do I Apply?
7. How Long Is The Waiting List To Receive An Assistance Dog?
8. How Can I Donate to PAD?
9. I’d Like to Volunteer With PAD.  How Can I Help?
10. What Is The Difference Between A Partner-Trained and a Program-Trained Assistance Dog?
11. Why Don’t You Breed Your Puppies?
12. Are Shelter Dogs Safe?
13. How Much Does an Assistance Dog Cost?
14. Why Can’t I Pet an Assistance Dog?
15. Can I Donate a Puppy to PAD?

1.  How Do I Apply For an Assistance Dog?

The first step is to fill out the preliminary application <here. PAD will contact you to discuss your application, and will then direct you to the next step in the process. Once the application is completed and reference letters have been received, PAD will move forward with assistance dog placement.

2.  How Old Do I Have To Be To Receive An Assistance Dog?

PAD has no specific policies regarding age.  When partnering with children, we’ve found it works best to assess on an individual basis whether they’re mature enough to handle the responsibilities of an assistance dog.

3.  What Types of Disabilities do You Train Dogs to Accommodate?

Here are some of the disabilities for which we currently train assistance dogs. If your disability is not on this list, we may still be able to work with you- please contact us!

Seizure Response: Epilepsy, Unspecified Seizure Disorders
Medical Response: Diabetes, Cardiac Disabilities, Non-specified Medical Conditions, Psychiatric Disabilities
Hearing Dogs: Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Cochlear Implant Patients
Assistance/Balance: Neuromuscular Diseases, Fibromyalgia, Spinal Cord Injuries, Multiple Sclerosis

4.  Once My Assistance Dog Successfully Completes Training, Who Owns It?

Once the placement process is complete, PAD will sign ownership over to you. Certification expires after one year; if you wish to renew certification with PAD, some basic training, behavior and health requirements must be met.
If we ever feel that a dog is in danger, we will immediately contact Humane Law Officers.
PAD will always welcome a dog back if you need to return it.


5.  Can My Assistance Dog Live in a Home with Other Pets?

Yes!  Socialization is important for every dog.
If the partner does not have another dog in the home for the assistance dog to socialize regularly with, the partner will have to make weekly arrangements for safe dog play. We feel that for the assistance dog to be successful, it is crucial to allow them regular off-leash time.

6.  I’m Interested in Becoming a Puppy Trainer.  How do I Apply?

To apply to become a puppy trainer, please send an email to info [at] <padcentral.org

7.  How Long Is The Waiting List To Receive An Assistance Dog?

PAD currently trains just one assistance dog at a time.  For a fully-trained dog, you should expect to wait a minimum of about 18 months.

8.  How Can I Donate To PAD?

To donate online using PayPal, go to <www.paypal.com and send a donation to info [at] <padcentral.org. To send donations by mail, please use the following address:

Phoenix Assistance Dogs of Central PA
547 Wood View Drive
Lititz, PA 17543

9.  I’d Like to Volunteer With PAD.  How can I Help?

There are plenty of ways you can volunteer with us!  We can always use help with the following:
– Puppy playtime, grooming, and general care
– Basic office work
– Event staff
If you’d like to get involved, please get in touch!

10.  What Is The Difference Between A Partner-Trained and a Program-Trained Assistance Dog?

If a partner would like to train their own dog, PAD will support them to do so through regular training classes.  Once training is complete, PAD will provide certification.

A partner may also elect to use the services of a PAD trainer to raise and train the dog before placement.  The partner will still regularly work with the dog during classes, and as the dog matures, it will gradually be transferred to the partner’s care.  Once training has been completed, all access tests have been passed, and the partner is ready to take the dog into their home, PAD will officially sign over ownership .

11.  Why Don’t You Breed Your Puppies?

in 2014 we began a small scale breeding program.  Our breeding dogs are thoroughly health tested (hips, elbows, eyes and all breed related genetic tests).  Puppies from our litters are shared with other assistance dog organizations, Owner Trainers and our traditional Puppy Program.

12.  Are Shelter Dogs Safe?

Yes! All puppies undergo a comprehensive temperament evaluation before they’re accepted into our program; they are then re-evaluated on a regular basis. Our puppies receive daily training, and are highly socialized. If a dog ever shows signs of fear or aggression, they are immediately released from our program and adopted out into a suitable home.

13.  How Much Does an Assistance Dog Cost?

Program-Trained Assistance Dogs from PAD are $1,000.  It costs PAD approximately $5,000 for the feeding, care and miscellaneous costs of the dog, as well as $10,000 worth of training; If a partner is interested in fundraising to cover any more of that cost, it’s greatly appreciated.
Partners who train their own Assistance Dogs can typically expect to spend about $450 per month on average.   That figure includes regular costs associated with dog ownership (e.g. food, grooming, and vet care), as well as PAD’s fees for lessons and training support. Those fees may vary depending on factors such as the partner’s training experience, the number of training classes needed per month, etc.

14.  Why Can’t I Pet An Assistance Dog?

For information on interacting with Assistance Dogs, please go to <www.pleasedontpetme.com

 15.  Can I Donate A Puppy To PAD?

Yes! If you have an accidental litter, or are a breeder interested in donating to PAD, please contact us immediately! We have great relationships with reputable dog rescues, so please also feel welcome to consult with us if you need help placing other puppies.