Facility Dog Program

& how to apply for a facilty dog

What are Facility Dogs

A facility dog is a specially trained dog that works in an educational, medical, therapuetic, non-profit or government setting. Facility Dogs are trained to do specific, skilled tasks in a variety of different situations within the facility environment with multiple clients.  Some examples of these environments, include:

  • Schools/classrooms for special needs children, handled generally by a special needs teacher or school psychologist.
  • Victim advocate centers & court houses helping victims of crime through the painful and challenging experience of a criminal trial.
  • Hospitals & Physical Therapy Centers helping patients through their rehabilitation, the dogs are often handled by the physical therapists, psychologists or psychiatrists.
  • Residential centers for individual with disabilities. Helping through difficult times that can include in-patient treatment or end of life care.

Requirements for Facility Dog Placements:

  • Applicant must have appropriate authorization from the facility and/or corporation, district, etc. to receive a facility dog.
  • Applicant is the primary handler or working with the primary handler.
  • Ability to provide a safe, loving, healthy and stable home for a service dog.
  • Ability to provide for the dog’s physical, psychological and financial needs.
  • All recipient Faclities must be within a three-hour drive of the Diggity Dogs campus.
     

What is the Cost?

The Cost of a Diggity Facility Dog is $25,000

The applications of Facility Dogs can vary, so if training in extraordinarily unusual environments or extremely long-distance travel is required by our trainers, such costs would be added to the standard $25,000 fee, however this would be agreed to upon enrollment. The actual cost of producing each facility dog placed is $35,000-$50,000, however we only pass on $25,000 of that amount to the clients. We have fundraising and payment plans available.  Please see below for more information.

 

How Our Program Works (Our Process)

1)  Application

Application and $100 application fee are received by us and we contact you within two business days to set up a phone interview. Our main application is directed towards service dog clients.*
(*IMPORTANT: Please answer the questions on the application in relation to the population you service, rather than in relation to the primary handler.)

2) Interview

Phone interview during which the whole program is explained in great detail from start to finish and we answer all the questions you may have. The first half of the call is spent understanding the desired goals for the facility dog saught, the environment/facility the dog would work in, the population served and the primary handler's situation. The second half of the call is our team explaining how our program works in great detail.    

3) Detailed Facility & Handler Profile Submission

Applicant gets facility description forms to complete and return to ensure we have a thorough understanding of the facility the dog is desired for and information related to the person(s) that will be handling the dog.

4) Facility & Handler Profile Review

We receive and review the aforementioned forms and then reply with any additional questions or requests for information.  A site visit may be required.

5.) Acceptance Response

After a complete review of all application materials with our team, we get back to you with a final decision regarding acceptance into our program within two working days.

6.) Enrollment

If the applicant is accepted, they are considered enrolled once they make a $3500 deposit. Once a client enrolls they can expect to wait two to three years for their dog.*

Non-fundraising clients who do not wish to pay a lump sum may choose a payment plan agreement.  Our standard payment plan of $2,500 quarterly (every 3 months), though we are also open to custom payment plan agreements as needed.

(*Fundraising clients may wait longer depending on how quickly they are able to raise money. Please see the below for more information.)

7.) Training Profile Development

We collaborate with clients to identify all of their symptoms and what services the facility's population would benefit from the dog performing. When the client and our team agrees on a final version we will “close out” the client's training profile, which means that no more behaviors can be added.

8.) Notification of Dog Assignment & Scheduling Intensive

As we get closer to a client’s placement date, once we are absolutely sure which dog is the best match, we notify the client which dog they will be receiving and send them a brief description of their dog and some photos of the Facility Dog they will receive. Once a dog has been assigned to a client, we begin planning their handler training. 

9) Handler Training

Each Facility Dog's primary handler(s) are required to come to participate in a training at our facility to learn how to work with their dog.  The exact schedule and duration of Facility Dog handler trainings is customized to each placement and designed in concert with the recipient facility. 

10.) Post-Placement

After clients go home with their dog they are required to follow a post-placement plan. For the first six months after placement, clients are required to have regular check-ins without team and practice sessions with their dog. We find that some clients have no issues post placement from the day they leave, while others may have lots of questions for the first few months. The post-placement process is designed to offer clients support while they acclimate to living and working with the dog.  We find that even those clients that take a while to settle into their new partnership, are working smoothly and fully bonded with their dogs after 2-3 months, however, we like to continue regular check-ins for six months just so that clients always feel like they have a support system in place. After six months we move to checking in with each client with a simple phone call every 3 months for the next 2 years.  This is our way of ensuring that everything is going well and to hear how amazing the dog is doing in their new life as a Facility Dog!

Fundraising Timeline and Policy

As you have likely noticed, we have a section on our website called "applicant campaigns" where we host fundraising websites for our clients. It works to similarly other online fundraising platforms (such as GoFundMe) except that we don't take a portion for ourselves. This is a wonderful system for clients to raise funds, but we do like to remind clients that it does require the client sharing the link to their site and actively pushing the ball forward.

We try to get our dogs to our clients as quickly as possible, but, obviously, we cannot have a dog who is ready to graduate but their client isn’t ready/able to make payment. Additionally, we cannot have clients whose fundraising has been stagnant for a year or two suddenly come to us with the full amount and assuming that their dog will be ready immediately, as it takes a tremendous amount of time and effort to prepare a dog for a client and we cannot do this overnight.

In order to accurately match our training timeline with your fundraising timeline, we have developed this protocol for all fundraising clients. We understand that the nature of fundraising is uncertain and that sometimes there are periods of great progress while other times the progress slows down. Therefore, for fundraising client, we will not assign a dog to their specific training profile until we have received around 70% of their campaign total.  We will not set a placement/intensive date until we have received 90% of the total amount due. Full payment is required at least one month prior to placement.

As we discuss in the interview, all of our dogs learn a core curriculum of 80 behaviors before we assign them a specific training profile, which usually happens when they are a year old.  So, it is not as if you are assigned a puppy when you get assigned a dog. Clients are assigned dogs that have already learned the majority of the curriculum, including an array of service tasks. They just have not learned the tasks that are unique to an individual client and the pairing of service tasks with the symptoms outlined in each client’s symptoms and services worksheet/training profile.

We trust that you find this policy fair and reasonable.  If you need longer than the 18-24 months to raise funds, that is not a problem.  This policy will enable us to cater to individual needs while still being able to plan our training and assignments appropriately.

For more information, please email applications@indogswetrust.org or call 914-222-DOGS (3647).

IMPORTANT NOTE: All payments are final and non-refundable.  Clients must apply, be interviewed, and accepted to the program, before paying.  All donations using our fundraising platform on our website are also all non-refundable. 

PayPal Acceptance Mark

Ready to Apply?

There are three (3) simple steps to applying outlined in the yellow box on this page.

Thank you for your interest in our program.  We look forward to working together!

Application: 3 Steps

STEP 1.   Read ‘How our Program Works’ on this page.

It will answer many/all of your questions about our processes, from application to placement!

 

STEP 2.   Submit Application Fee

All applications must be accompanied by a $100 application fee.  This fee helps cover the cost of your interview and medical history consults.  Applications not accompanied by a fee will not be processed.

How to Pay:  Click the icon below to pay electronically using Paypal’s secure payment process.  Please note: You do not need to have or setup a PayPal account in order to pay your application fee.  Simply select “Pay by Debit or Credit Card” on the black bar below the Paypal logo.  


Step 3.   Complete Secure Application Form

Click here to complete your application form.  We understand the sensitive nature of the application information, so all application information is secure and private.