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Southeastern Guide Dogs - Service Dog Application

About Our Admissions Process

Welcome to the Southeastern Guide Dogs Service Dog application! We are committed to providing you with exceptional customer service as you navigate our application process.
Please review all information below before beginning the application.

1. Eligibility
In order to qualify for our service dog program, the applicant must:

  • Be retired, or inactive Military or approaching retirement within the next 6-9 months
  • MUST have Honorable Discharge
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Reside in one of the 48 contiguous United States
  • Have NO felony convictions, history/charges of violent crime, or protection orders against you
  • Have the cognitive ability to learn training concepts and apply them consistently
  • Have the financial ability to cover the expenses associated with the proper maintenance and care for the life of a service dog, including food, monthly preventatives, and veterinary expenses
  • Be able to provide a safe, loving, healthy, and stable home for a service dog
  • Pass an in-home interview with a certified service dog trainer
  • Be able to complete a training course and live on campus in Palmetto, FL for 11 days
  • Be able to demonstrate the physical and mental ability to consistently handle and work a 50-80 lb service dog
  • Have no more than two other dogs at the residence
  • If applying for assistance with PTSD, it must be Military Service-Connected and applicant MUST be in on-going treatment by a mental health professional
Please be aware that an applicant diagnosed with any of the following conditions are NOT eligible for our programs:
*Bi-Polar Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Schizoid Personality Disorder, Delusional Disorder, Delirium, Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder, Dependent Personality Disorder, Schizophrenia, Paranoid Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Unspecified Personality Disorder, Dementia
*If you have been diagnosed with any of the above mentioned conditions, you may want to search for another program that places/specializes in psychiatric service dogs at

Also, if you have had attempts or thoughts of self-harm within the past year you do not qualify at this time.

2. Application

The applicant must complete this Service Dog Application in full.  This application includes:

  • Contact information for the applicant's current Mental Health Care provider (if claiming PTSD)
  • Contact information for the applicant's current Primary Care Physician
  • Contact information for three (3) Personal References
  • Consent Form
  • PTSD Checklist - Military
  • Documentation of Military Service (copy of form DD-214 is required)

3.  Admission
Our admissions process is broken down into 3 main phases:

   1. Application is processed - report/questionnaires are faxed, mailed, or emailed to providers and references, and a criminal background screen is run to begin establishing the applicant's eligibility and learn about the need for a service dog.
   2. Once all forms are returned, the applicant's file has its first review before moving forward to an in home interview with a trainer.
   3. If accepted into the program, applicants are notified and then wait to be matched with the appropriate dog and invited to a training class.

Please note that the initial phase of the application process can take several months to complete. This time frame depends on many factors, such as, the accuracy of contact information provided by the applicant and speed of paperwork submission by providers and references. In the meantime, if you experience a change in your contact information, please advise admissions as soon as possible so that we may keep your information current.

If at any time during the application process, it is determined that the applicant does not qualify for the program, the applicant will be notified via letter.

4. Training 
Once the professional trainers have identified a dog that would suit your needs and lifestyle, you will be contacted by the admissions department and invited to an upcoming training class. Our training program will require your attendance at Southeastern Guide Dogs' campus in Palmetto, FL for 12 consecutive days (2 travel days and 10 days of specialized training). During this training, you will work with our trainers to learn to navigate locations and situations similar to challenges you may experience at home. Upon completion of the training program, we will execute an adoption agreement which will transfer ownership of the dog from Southeastern Guide Dogs to you.

5. Costs
Southeastern Guide Dogs provides its dogs and training to students free of charge. The school will provide the dog, equipment, training, housing and meals during your training.

Once you adopt one of our Service Dogs, the maintenance of your dog and all associated medical expenses become your responsibility. We estimate this cost to be between $900 and $1,200 annually.

6. Transportation
Once accepted, the applicant is responsible for transportation to and from our Palmetto, FL campus. If this creates a hardship, we may be able to assist you with your transportation needs.

Please complete the required fields of the application thoroughly. Providing fax numbers and/or email addresses for providers and references is appreciated and may move along the paperwork collecting process more efficiently.

Information collected is strictly confidential and is used only for the purposes of identifying the most qualified dog for your particular needs.

*Please note, the application could take up to 30 minutes. We recommend you have all contact information for your providers and references handy to reduce time spent. You may save the application at anytime and come back to it later by clicking at the top of any page and entering your email twice. You will then get an email with a link to return to that exact page and finish. You must have a valid email address to complete this application.