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Apply for a Service Dog

To qualify for a service dog through Dogs that Help, basic criteria is required:

  • VETERAN: Be a veteran with an honorable discharge & provide a copy of your DD214

  • VETERAN: Possess a VA Disability rating of 50% or higher

  • FIRST RESPONDER: You must provide a letter from your Primary Care Provider or Mental Health Therapist verifying your diagnosis and recommendation of a service dog

  • You must be actively under the care of a medical professional or mental health therapist for your disability in which you are seeking a service dog for

  • Willing to submit to a background check

  • Stable living environment of at least 6 months

  • Willing to consent to a home visit prior to the placement of a service dog

  • Financial ability to provide proper care for the service dog and agree to provide veterinary records to Dogs that Help, if necessary

  • No felony conviction, pending criminal charges, current parole/probation, pattern of criminality or animal abuse

  • No alcohol or substance abuse

  • Commit to attending ALL weekly training sessions and continue at home training


Application Process

Please print and complete the application. Applications are received ONLY via mail. Once completed, mail the application and all required documents to:




  • I am not a disabled veteran or first responder, but I have a disability, can I get a service dog?
    Unfortunately, we only provide service dogs to veterans and first responders. However, there are many resources available nationwide to assist with service dog training, funding and more. You can also look into working with local dog trainers for basic command training.
  • How can I get involved with Dogs that Help?
    We always appreciate the support of our community! We have several opportunities to volunteer through our fundraising events, becoming a part-time foster for some of our overflow dogs, host a fundraising event to benefit Dogs that Help and much more! We also accept monetary donations and items off of our Amazon Wishlist.
  • I donated to Dogs that Help, where will my money go?
    At Dogs that Help, every penny donated goes directly to the service dogs. The individuals working with our organization are volunteers and do not receive a paycheck. We use the money to purchase basic necessities such as kennels, dog food, training aids, training vests & patches and also cover the cost of veterinary bills.
  • How can I get a service dog?
    We provide service dogs to disabled veterans and first responders. To begin the process, visit the "Apply for a Service Dog" tab under the "Service Dog" section to begin. Complete the application and include the required documentation and mail to: DOGS THAT HELP PO BOX 64 WATERLOO, IL 62298 Once your application is received, our application committee will review it and reach out to notify you of your acceptance or if more information is needed. Once accepted, you will then move onto the next step in the process.
  • Can I provide my own dog to be trained as my service dog?
    Yes! It is possible to provide your own dog, as long as they are a year old or younger and pass various evaluations conducted by one of our trainers.
  • I am a veteran but have less than a 50% VA disability rating but could really benefit from a service dog, can you help?
    In some cases, an exception can be made for disabled veterans with less than a 50% VA disability rating. Reach out to us via our contact form and we would love to see what we can do for you!
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