General

When was Valor Service Dogs founded? 
We were founded in October of 2015 in Tampa, FL. 

Who do we help?
We place service dogs with post 9/11 wounded veterans in all 50 States. 

How can I help? 
DONATE
Financial contributions can be made via PayPal or check.
Goods can be donated using our Amazon Wishlist 
Airline miles can be donated by contacting us directly at Emelie@valorservicedogs.org
Professional Services can be donated by contacting us directly at Emelie@valorservicedogs.org
Host a fundraiser via Facebook for your birthday, wedding, anniversary etc. 
Host a Toy, Treat & Supply Drive - contact us for details
VOLUNTEER
Become a Puppy Coach: Raise a future service dog for us!
Become a Puppy Sitter: fill in when the Puppy Coaches are traveling or need help

Where are you located?
Our offices and dog training space are located in Tampa, FL. 


Dogs

How many dogs get added to the program each year?
We add between 4-7 puppies to our training program each year. 

How many dogs do we graduate each year?
At this time, we graduate 4-5 dogs each year.

Who trains the dogs?
All dogs are trained by our Director of Training, Carol Lansford. 

What breeds do you work with?
We work with golden retrievers that we get from other service dog organizations or our own breeding program.

How old are the dogs when they are placed with a veteran?
Between 1.5-2 years old.

What are your dogs trained to do?
Our dogs are trained for PTSD and/or mobility support. PTSD service dogs are taught to recognize signs of stress and anxiety and then interrupt those negative emotions by initiating contact with the veteran. This allows the veteran to work through those negative emotions in a more positive way. Mobility service dogs are taught to turn on and off lights, act as a brace, find and retrieve items, pull wheelchairs, open and close doors and any additional tasks specific to a veterans unique mobility needs. 

What are the dogs NOT trained to do?
Seizure and diabetes alert
Recognize or manage undesirable human behaviors
Guard
Protect
Search for threats
Aggressive responses

Do you use rescues?
No

Do you accept dog donations?
We are open to accepting dog donations (golden retrievers only) from breeders that meet our standards. We can only accept dogs that are between 8-12 weeks old. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us directly. 

I already have a dog, can you train it to be a service dog?
No, we do not provide that service.

What types of working dogs do you place?
We place mobility and PTSD service dogs. If we determine that a dog cannot graduate with public access then we will place it as a Military Family Support dog. We are open to training Facility dogs that serve the veteran or active military population. 

How long can dogs work?
We expect our dogs to work until they are around 10-11 years old. After that, they can retire into the pet life.


Veterans

How can I apply for a service dog?
Our application process starts on our website. Follow this link to submit your request for an application packet.

What are the eligibility requirements?
We place service dogs with post 9/11 wounded veterans in all 50 States. We requires that all veterans be post 9/11 combat, simulation or training wounded, deployed to a combat zone at least once, medically retired or honorably discharged (or in the process), and able to travel to Tampa for up to two weeks. 

What does your application process entail?
First you will request an application packet via our online request form. Once you return a completed application packet it will be reviewed our Behavioral Health Consultant. After the application is reviewed, she will interview you and your medical provider. Our Executive Director/Director of Training will also interview you. A decision is made within a month after all of the interviews have been completed.

Can I apply if I am active duty?
You can apply if you are in the process of being medically retired or honorably discharged. However, we will not place a service dog until you are retired or discharged. 

What happens after acceptance of a veteran?
Once a veteran is accepted we will update them every 3 months on the general timeline. Approximately 6-9 months prior to the veteran receiving a service dog we will conduct a Needs Assessment. This is where our Director of Training will talk with the veteran to better understand their needs and what they would like their service dog to do. We will tailor the end of the dogs training to best fit the needs of a specific veteran. 3 months prior to placement we will tell the veteran which dog they will receive and work to schedule their Joint Training in Tampa, FL. Joint Training lasts between 1-2 weeks. Prior to Joint Training they will receive all necessary review material to ensure a successful training experience and prepare to bring the dog into their home.

What is the average wait time after a veteran is approved for a service dog?
1 year

What is the cost to the veteran?
Our service dogs are provided to the veteran at no cost. We just require that the veteran be financially responsible for the dog once they receive it.