Please read the entirety of this page before submitting your application. Most of your questions should be answered on this page.
Please Note: Application Processing time is usually 4 weeks. However, due to Covid and a drastic increase in application submissions, we are processing around 6 weeks. Please be patient and we will get back to you as quickly as possible!
The following details the process of applying for a service dog, the waiting time and the handler training process. Please review the adjacent list of frequently asked questions.
The first step is to submit your application online. Once we have reviewed your application, and we believe a dog could be a good fit for you, we will reach out to request additional documentation from your medical provider, and
If your application and documentation lead us to believe that one of our dogs can assist you we will schedule a phone interview and consultation. The interview and consultation
If you, your medical provider, and Little Angels still agree that a service dog is in your best interest, we would then write out a customized contract going over all the details for you to review. This is when we would ask you to take your time and discuss all of your options with friends and family. We want to make sure this is the right decision for you. You can take days, or even months to weigh your options. A service dog can bring life-changing assistance to someone with a disability – but it is a decision that will affect you for the life of the dog.
If you decide to move forward, we would have you return the contract with a minimum deposit of $500. A Little Angels Service Dog costs our organization an average of $38,000 to train and place. We ask our recipients to be responsible for 1/4 of our cost which is $9,500. We know that many cannot afford to write a check for $9,500 and so we will remain available to assist you through the process of fundraising if you would prefer. We do not want anyone to have to pay to receive a service dog. Your portion shows us your commitment to the program and to the dog. We are happy to raise the additional funds for anyone who can’t raise the entire $38,000 but for anyone who can raise the entire amount, wait times are significantly reduced. Wait times vary based on fundraising and the training each dog needs to receive to help their disabled recipient.
Once the dog is done with its training we work together with you every day for two weeks at one of our two facilities, either in San Diego, California, or Bartlett, New Hampshire. These lessons are done on a private
Continued contact is required with training reports and training assessments throughout the rest of the dog’s life. We have a lifetime commitment to the dog and its support of you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please carefully read through these questions before contacting us for further information. This should cover most of the information you will need to know before proceeding to our Application Hub. From there, you will learn more about each type of Assistance Dog and what they can do for you or your child. Thank you!
Is there a cost that recipients need to pay for the dog?
There is a $50 application fee to ensure the commitment level of each applicant. After the application process is complete and the recipient has been approved to receive a dog, the recipient will be responsible for 1/4 of the total expenses of the dog, which is $9,500. We believe the majority of our recipients cannot simply write a check for this amount, so we will remain available to guide you through the process of fundraising if you ask for our aid. We will require at least $500 of this amount as a non-refundable deposit which you will return with your contract, to join our fundraising waiting list. This deposit shows us that the recipient is committed to the waiting process and our program. Once a recipient joins our waiting list, fundraising begins.
How long is the waiting list?
Once fundraising is completed recipients are currently waiting a MINIMUM of 24-36 months. Fundraising wait times depend greatly on the involvement of each individual, and whether or not they are involved in fundraising. While it is great to be excited about receiving your dog, we have found it best to expect longer than average, and be pleasantly surprised if your wait is shorter.
What is the process of fundraising?
Our goal is to get the dog to you at no cost, other than the initial $500 deposit and application fee. The way this is done is through fundraising and donations. We have a team of over eighty volunteers who help to lower costs associated with the training of each dog, but there are still many expenses that cannot be avoided. Before a dog is placed with a disabled recipient, we are faced with many expenses, all of which
In short – our recipients are responsible for the first $9,500 which can be paid personally or through fundraising. Little Angels will raise the additional $28,500, or you can assist us with fundraising for this amount to speed up the process.
What age does the recipient have to be in order to receive a dog?
Little Angels places dogs to assist children and adults. Disabled recipients who are not able to be consistent in reinforcing the dog’s training will require a handler (facilitator) to care for the dog and issue commands to the dog for the assistance of the disabled party. Because of this, there is not necessarily an age requirement for the disabled party. Dogs can even alert to seizures in an infant as long as the parent is consistent with training reinforcement.
How does Little Angels determine the fundraising goal for each dog?
We certainly understand the sticker shock when it comes to the high expense of providing service dogs. It’s a lot of money! Organizations generally take the overall expenses of the
We are hopeful this paints a small picture of why this industry is faced with such high fundraising goals across the world. There is quite a bit that goes into each working team.
Can the dog attend school with my child?
There are certain situations where service dogs can attend school with a child. If the child cannot safely control the dog on their own, there is no legal advocacy for the dog to attend. However, some schools will voluntarily allow the dog to attend school when
What can the dog do?
While our dogs are highly trained, they are not robots. Our recipients and handlers receive very detailed instruction on how to properly reinforce the training their dog has received. Our dogs respond to commands, but they are not responsible. They cannot be relied on to protect or guide individuals away from harm. They care for their recipients, but they are not caregivers. It is the handler’s responsibility to care for the dog, and in
We do not train dogs to work for or guide the
What about travel and expenses?
The costs for travel expenses are separate from the amount raised for the service dog itself. Recipients who do not live close to one of our facilities will need to travel and stay near us for the two weeks of handler training. Travel expenses vary and are the responsibility of the recipient.
What will the dog be like?
Little Angels has a breeding program consisting of English Labrador Retrievers and English Cream Golden Retrievers. We also rescue suitable dogs whenever possible, or purchase quality puppies from outside of our own breeding
What if I have other animals?
We will place our service dogs in homes with other pets on a case-by-case basis. We consider the species, personalities
What are the requirements for receiving a dog?
Applications are reviewed on an individual basis by qualified staff to determine the recipient will not be hindered by the dog, the dog will be properly cared for, and the dog will be able to assist the recipient appropriately. All applicants are considered regardless of race, sexual orientation, religion, or creed.
How is my information protected?
Any sensitive information provided will be kept confidential and only shared with Little Angels staff who require the information to review your application and/or train and place a service dog. Information will not be disclosed without
I am under 18-years-of-age. Can I submit an application?
While we do place assistance dogs with minors, we will need a legal guardian to submit an application on behalf of the minor. We cannot accept an application if it is