Apply for a Service Dog or a Facility Dog

How do I apply?

  1. Join our applicant pool by completing the form above.  The long term success of each placement is very important to TLCAD, which is why we utilize an applicant pool rather than a wait list. Each dog, based on his or her individual strengths and personality is carefully matched with the specific needs and personality of an applicant from this pool.
  2. Apply for a particular dog. Once a dog becomes available for placement, each qualified applicant in the pool will be notified and provided a description of the dog’s personality and skills. If an applicant feels this particular dog is a good match for them, they may then apply for that particular dog.
  3. Phone screen. Once TLCAD has received all applications for the available dog from the applicant pool, phone screens will be conducted to help narrow down the applicants to the most suitable matches.
  4. In-home interview. In-home interviews are done prior to selecting the most suitable match.

**As our demand for service dogs far outweighs our supply, we encourage applicants to pursue applying for service dogs from multiple organizations to increase their likelihood of obtaining a service dog. For more information, please visit our resources page HERE.

What is the cost?

At this time, other than the initial processing fee of $500, we do not charge for our dogs.  Because the cost to TLCAD to train one dog is anywhere from $10,000-$28,000 per dog (depending on the length of time the dog spent in training), we do encourage clients to make donations, sign media waivers, apply for funding from sponsors, and occasionally speak at events.

Do I qualify?

  • TLCAD only places service dogs with wounded service members and individuals with autism or facilities who service individuals with disabilities.  
  • Children with autism must be at least 5 years old to apply.
  • Because our placements are so personalized, we only accept applicants who reside near our training locations. At this time, applicants must live in either San Diego County or within 60 miles of Ione, CA.  
  • TLCAD does not specifically train and place hypoallergenic dogs and thus can not accommodate those with sensitivities or allergies to dogs. 

If I am selected to receive a service dog, what is my commitment requirement?

The placement process is typically 3-6 months. The initial phase consists of training sessions conducted twice weekly with TLCAD staff, then a public access test to assess a client’s skills prior to the dog residing with the client.  Placement training then continues weekly in preparation for taking the certification test. Upon certification, six monthly follow-ups with TLCAD are required and yearly follow-ups thereafter. At any time during the placement process, TLCAD has the right to end the placement and retain ownership of a dog if specific guidelines, policies or criteria set forth by TLCAD are not being met.