We assist veterans in the preliminary application steps of the VA's service dog policy and with the benefits for service dog handlers.
We help guide veterans to the best service dog training organization for their need and work with them on fundraising for the cost of their service dog.
New veteran service dog handlers will encounter experiences requiring legal knowledge of their rights and responsibilities as well as how to handle There are new experiences
Many Veterans are going through a long and winding road to be partnered with service dogs. There are long waitlists, not enough dogs and many unscrupulous organizations only “claiming” to train service dogs. Can you imagine what it does to a Veteran to start to feel secure at the thought of being partnered with a service dog only to be paired with a trained pet incapable of providing the assistance needed? There is a detrimental lack of information available to Veterans in need of service dogs.
After being accepted as a client, K9s Serving Vets educates the Veteran on the requirements imposed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. They require that Veterans apply with the Department of Veterans Affairs to the letter to receive service dog benefits as well as even having their canine recognized as a service dog.
We then review with the Veteran what it means to be a service dog handler. We ensure that they understand the physical and financial needs to be met for themselves and their service dog to be a successful team.After receiving a client's application it is reviewed. If the application is approved, an interview with the veteran is the next step and also determining their eligibility through the VA benefits policy.
The first step in this part of the process is to find the best service dog training organization for the Veteran’s disability. We discuss with the Veteran the tasks the service dog needs to perform to mitigate their disability. Service dog training organizations have specific disabilities for which they train their service dogs. For instance, some only have hearing assistance dogs, some have dogs that have the skill set to assist with various disabilities. We strive to make the perfect match between the Veteran and the training organization.
The second step is to determine which training organization meets the geographical needs of the client. Many organizations place service dogs with Veterans across the entire country. But there are several who only accept clients within a certain area. The organizations that accept clients from every state generally require the Veteran to attend an initial interview.
The third step is raising money for the cost of the veteran's service dog. Fundraising events are one way that we assist Veterans in meeting the financial requirement of being partnered with a service dog. While most service dog training organizations place assistance dogs with Veterans free of charge there are several that do charge a fee. Also, there are some that do not require a fee, but they do require that the Veteran perform fundraising to bring recognition to said organization as well as to pay it forward to the next Veteran in need of a service dog. We organize events such as raffles, restaurant fundraisers, etc. to help the Veteran raise proceeds.
Online fundraising is the other way that we raise money to help the Veteran to pay it forward. We organize social media fundraiser such as online sales or donation campaigns to help the Veteran raise proceeds toward their goal.
We assist Veterans through the transition of becoming a Veteran service dog handler. We guide them in receiving service dog benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, we prepare them for the things a service dog handler will encounter while out with their service dog and we accompany Veterans (local to DC/VA) on their first trips out with their service dog.
K9s Serving Vets and our trusted trainer network will be a supportive community for our Veteran clients.