Frequently Asked Questions
Service Dogs For Veterans FAQ
PAVE’s mission is to train and provide service dogs for our Veterans suffering from psychological and/or physical disabilities.
PAVE does not place service dogs for legally blind, hearing impaired, or medical alert dogs (seizure, diabetic alert, for example). Please see ADI for organizations that specialize in these areas.
Yes, PAVE is an accredited member of Assistance Dogs International. This premier international organization establishes and promotes standards of excellence in all areas of assistance dog acquisition, training, and partnership. Only three organizations in Oregon are currently accredited members.
As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, PAVE is funded by private donations, corporate donations, foundation funding, and grants.
It costs PAVE around $42,000 per dog, which includes lifelong follow-up training and support.
Approximately 90 cents of every dollar is spent on program expenses.
PAVE provides the service dog, the training, and ongoing support at no charge, along with the initial supply of equipment and supplies valued at over $1,500.
It takes approximately 1.5 – 2 years to train a service dog.
PAVE works with Guide Dogs for the Blind, selected breeders, and rescues/shelters.
PAVE primarily trains Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, or Lab/Golden crosses.
These breeds have consistently been successful in service dog work regarding aptitude, temperament, and work ethic.
As soon as the dogs join our program!
PAVE dogs are trained by certified, professional dog trainers specializing in service dogs. They use positive reinforcement methods.
PAVE assistance dogs are trained to the specific disability needs of the individual Veteran. Examples of tasks they perform depend on the Veteran's specific needs but may include:
- Turn lights on/off
- Open or close doors
- Retrieve items
- Nightmare interruption
- Redirect Veterans during a PTSD episode
- Provide DPT (Deep Pressure Therapy) and grounding
No, PAVE does not train or certify dogs already owned by the Veteran. Assistance Dogs International lists some organizations that offer that kind of training.
The initial required qualifications are:
- Honorable discharge from U.S. military forces.
- Licensed health professional ongoing support appropriate for the mental and/or physical disabilities.
- Housing and financial stability to provide for the well-being of the service dog.