Inquiries For Our Service Dogs
Our dogs are trained for balance and mobility issues with the use of minimal equipment. While each dog receives extensive training for balance, we like to consider our dogs well educated so once a dog is paired with an applicant the dog continues to adjust to the needs of their partner. This work is ongoing through the life of the partnership. Our working service dogs have been placed with individuals with Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Cerebral Palsy and more. Our dogs are not trained for assist with epilepsy, seizures, diabetes or autism.
With that in mind we work with the following guidelines for matching potential partners.
Military veterans and first responders are given first preference.
The potential applicant must be able to care for a service dog 100% of the time as it is necessary that bonding be strictly between them.
The potential applicant should be older than 12 and younger than 75.
The dog should be at least 45% of the person’s height and 65% of the person’s weight.
The potential applicant should live within a six hour drive of SDP as our dogs are required to return frequently to SDP for ongoing training and assessment.
The potential applicant should utilize the dog in public 3-4 hours a day.
The potential applicant should volunteer at SDP if local, and when practical if afar.
The potential applicant must come for ongoing evaluations, as required.
Recipients are solely responsible for their dog and its care.
The dogs are service dogs; they are not family pets.
We donate our dogs. Our recipients are not asked or required to participate in fundraising for SDP.
Please do not include information you would like to be kept confidential on your inquiry.
Process time can vary due to the number of applicants, the number of dogs available and the ability to match a dog to a recipient’s size, gait, lifestyle and conditions.
We cannot always guarantee we can provide an applicant with a dog.
If interested in one of our dogs, please follow the four steps below:
Complete an Inquiry Form (found below). Please mail your completed inquiry to SDP, 37 Boxford Rd., Ipswich, MA 01938. Please write INQUIRY on the front and back of the envelope. Do NOT send via email. Once the inquiry is received and reviewed you will receive a letter of response, typically within six weeks. At that time, you may receive one of two responses:
Considering you diagnosis, you would not benefit from one of our dogs, or
Please contact Service Dog Project for an interview.
After the interview you may receive an application (to be filled out and returned), or it may be determined that one of our dogs is not suitable to meet your needs.
Once an application is received there is an undetermined waiting period before a partnership may be made. Great Danes have individual personalities. This is a unique program and we do our best to match every applicant. So please keep in mind that even at this point, there is no guarantee we will have a dog to meet your needs. We encourage volunteering at SDP while you are on the waiting list for a dog.
Once partnered, the applicant will be required to bond/train with the dog at the farm in Ipswich, MA and visit for ongoing training, re-certifications and other requested visits. Again we encourage volunteering with us or another organization whenever possible.
Once one of our dogs is donated to a recipient they will assume responsibility and provide a safe home for the dog. Here are some of the responsibilities you can expect:
The cost for the leash, harness and/or vest.
Upkeep: Food, dishes & stand, vitamins, toys, bedding, dog coat, nails, ears, monthly tick and flea preventatives, vet visits (Annual exams/rabies and other vaccines), other general care & daily exercise for your dog.
The welfare of our dogs is our highest priority therefore throughout the dog’s lifetime all of their medical records and tests must be sent to SDP.
Recipients must respond to wellness emails or phone calls from SDP staff or volunteers.
Ongoing work on partnership skills and going out in public 3-4 hours per day. Volunteerism and community work is highly encouraged.
For possible emergency veterinary needs we strongly recommend you open a separate savings account.
Please take the time to become fully familiar with Service Dog Project. Read through our website, watch us live on explore.org and volunteer when possible.
Thanks to explore.org we have seven live cameras on the property – in the main house, the kennels, outdoor areas, donkey areas, etc. (http://explore.org/play/great-danes-indoor-room-puppy-cam). On the house camera, the main Service Dog Project camera, Mail Call is held at 5:00 every afternoon except Sunday. Carlene White and staff open letters, donations, gift packages, etc. followed by a question and answer session from the camera comment section.
An Open House is held every Sunday from 12:00-4:00 pm. Come meet the dogs, staff, and volunteers.
MUST READ: "LIFE WITH A SERVICE DOG, BELLA'S MOM"
If you would like to inquire about a service dog, please complete the following questionnaire -- print it, fill in the requested information and then mail to Service Dog Project, 37 Boxford Rd., Ipswich, MA 01938. You should expect a response from us typically within six weeks, if not please resend. This is NOT an application. Please do not include any information you would like to remain confidential.
Date of inquiry:
Address including city/town and state:
Date of birth: Age:
Are you a veteran? If so what division?
Are any family members veterans? If so who?
What is your primary diagnosis?
Is your diagnosis due to your military service?
Do you have a handicap plate or placard?
Do you work? If so, please describe your job, i.e., what you do, your work environment, is there any physical activity required?
Do you drive?
Do you have a yard? If so, is it fenced in?
Do you volunteer? If so, where?
Other household members including pets:
Service Dog Project
37 Boxford Rd.
Ipswich, MA 01938
You should receive a response within six weeks; if not please resend. This is NOT an application.