371 East Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown, NY 11787-2976
What makes America's VetDogs unique / different?
The America’s VetDogs assistance dog programs were created to provide enhanced mobility and renewed independence to veterans, active-duty service members, and first responders with disabilities. We help all service members who have served honorably, regardless of when or where they served, or how they became disabled.
On a case-by-case basis, we offer cross-trained guide dogs to perform service dog tasks. These service dog tasks can be added to a training program for qualified students. Tasks can include providing balance, retrieval and hearing assistance.
In 2013, America's VetDogs became the second assistance dog school in the United States to be accredited by the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International.
America’s VetDogs is a 501(c)3 charity that has earned the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. The Platinum Participant level requires that we share more than just our financial data. We also reported on our goals, strategies, capabilities, and programs. VetDogs was also recognized by the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance as an accredited charity that meets their twenty “Standards for Charity Accountability”. VetDogs has also been identified by The Patriots Initiative as an accredited charity that meets their best practices that most effectively support our nation's armed forces communities.
MISSION:To help those who have served our country honorably live with dignity and independence.The service dog programs of America’s VetDogs were created to provide enhanced mobility and renewed independence to United States veterans, active-duty service members, and first responders with disabilities, allowing them to once again live with pride and self-reliance. Not only does a service dog provide support with daily activities, it provides the motivation to tackle every day challenges.
Who can sign up to get a service dog?
Our service dog for PTSD program is limited to veterans with combat-related PTSD and first-responders with work-related PTSD. VetDogs trains and places service dogs for those with physical disabilities; guide dogs for individuals who are blind or have low vision; service dogs to help mitigate the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder; and facility dogs as part of the rehabilitation process in military and VA hospitals.
How much does it cost? All services are provided at no cost to clients — this includes your dog, transportation to and from our campus in Smithtown, New York, instruction, and more.
What type of Dogs do America's VetDogs provide? Service Dog- A service dog is specially trained to help veterans who have disabilities other than visual impairment. A service dog can be trained to provide balance, retrieve dropped items, open and close doors, turn on and off lights, carry a backpack, and much more.
Guide Dog- A guide dog is trained to find and follow a clear path, maneuver around obstacles, and stop at curbs. A veteran with a guide dog gains enhanced mobility and independence.
Service Dog for PTSD- A service dog for post traumatic stress disorder is trained to help mitigate the symptoms of PTSD by providing the emotional and physical support a veteran may need. A service dog for PTSD can be trained to interrupt a night terror, retrieve an item, get help and much more.
Facility Dog- These specially trained dogs, spend time working with wounded veterans recovering at military hospitals and veterans medical centers. Dogs work with physical and occupational therapists as they treat soldiers and become an essential part of the healing process.
Seizure Response Dog- Seizure response dogs are trained to perform special tasks following a seizure to assist its handler. These tasks may include getting help, operating a call button or k9 phone, or retrieving medication.
Military facility Dog- America's VetDogs has trained and placed Military Facility Dogs to provide animal assisted therapy intervention to wounded soldiers and active duty personnel during their journey to recovery at military installations, military and VA medical centers, and VA nursing homes. These dogs are important members of rehabilitation teams at various military hospitals and veterans' medical centers including Camp Lejeune U.S. Naval Hospital in North Carolina, Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia, and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda.
Where does America's VetDogs get their dogs for training? America's VetDogs and its sister organization, the Guide Dog Foundation, have their own breeding program.
Do you have a wait list or first come first serve?
We do have a waiting list, which is currently about two years, depending on what someone needs.
How long does it take to get a dog after the veterans has been approved?
It can take anywhere from 12-24 months after an applicant is accepted.
Do you have a wait list or first come first serve?
America's VetDogs does have a waitlist, and we follow it as closely as possible. However, we make every effort to match the right dog with the right person based on that person's needs, and the skills each dog has that are available at the moment.
How many dogs do you have in training at one time?
During a typical training cycle (12-16 weeks), our team of certified service dog instructors work and train with approximately 25-30 dogs.
How does America's VetDogs pair your dogs with veterans?
Making the decision to work with a service dog is a transformational event that extends into every area of a handler's life. Because of this momentous change, it’s crucial that each of our students is teamed with a dog that best suits that person’s mobility, personality, lifestyle, and physical needs. As each applicant is accepted to our program, we carefully match them with a dog that’s right for them.
As applicants work through our application process, they’ll be providing us with the key information that will determine their ultimate success. With a clear understanding of their goals and objectives, we’ll be able to craft a program that they’ll be excited to participate in as it relates to their specific needs.
Do you pay for the veterans' travel to you in Smithtown, New York for the pairing?