Steps to Success

1.  Applicant completes and submits application, either online, in mail or in person. Provide DD214 by email or mail.

2.  Applicant obtains a letter from a health care provider stating that he/she has a clinical diagnosis and would benefit from the aid of an assistant dog. (Physical therapist, mental health care professional or medical Doctor).

3.  Applicant schedules an appointment and casually meets training director and staff, sees the facility and meets a few dogs. Observation of a class is recommended and shows your commitment to the program. (Meeting can be private or at a veteran only event)

4.  A Pawsitive Action representative meets with the veteran and EVERYONE who will be interacting with the assistance dog on a weekly basis (roommates, children, spouse, family etc.) Veteran caretakers and household pets are included in this meeting.  Family pets MUST be friendly toward other animals.

5.  If the veteran has a mental health disability they must be under the care of a mental health professional during the participation of this program.  Veteran agrees to seek help as needed. Pawsitive Action representative may communicate with veterans mental health provider as needed with veterans permission.

6.  Pawsitive Action staff or Pawsitive Action volunteers may conduct a home visit and meet with family and pets that are going to interact with the service dog. This is casual and we are looking for a safe living environment.


At this point in the application process you will be accepted or declined as a client. You will receive an email AND a letter by mail.


1.  Client accepts and signs the terms of agreement for Pawsitive Action Veteran participation.

2.  FEES and Expenses - Pawsitive Actions sponsors Vets helping Heroes and private contributors provide funding for:

  • The price of a puppy obtained from a breeder or the adoption fees for a rescued dog

  • Spay or neuter of the pup/dog - Health certification at the time the Veteran receives the dog including: de-worming, vaccinations, 3 months of heart-worm and flea preventatives and a microchip.

  • Appropriate size kennel, leash, collar and Service Dog Vest with Vets Helping Heroes patch.

  • One 40 pound bag of dog food

  • Large bag training treats and training pouch

  • 6 weeks course Basic Training - Basic "Dog in Training" Access. MORE INFO HERE

  • 6 weeks course AKC Canine Good Citizenship MORE INFO HERE

  • 6 weeks course AKC Community Canine MORE INFO HERE

  • 6 weeks course AKC Urban dog MORE INFO HERE

  • Final Exam - Assistance Dog International recommended testing MORE INFO HERE

  • Average time to complete the course is 6 to 8 months.

  • Testing is provided by an AKC evaluator after 6 week course

  • Life-time of training/behavioral support by professional trainers

Veteran is responsible for and agrees to provide the following items, as soon as, the veteran takes possession of the dog:

  • Veteran agrees to continue training classes until the dog receives his/her full access certification.

  • Veteran agrees to continue to administer heart-worm prevention medication, prescription flea and tick prevention and assure the dog receives vaccinations (DHLPP, Bordetella and Rabies) for the life of the dog. Veteran agrees to provide proof of yearly vaccinations to the Pawsitive Action or Vets Helping Heroes office.

  • Veteran agrees to provide veterinary care after the dog resides permanently with the them. If funds are limited, Pawsitive Action will assist in fundraising for veterinary care but can not guarantee support. We highly recommend veterinary pet insurance.

  • Client understands that the pup/dog MUST be spayed or neutered. Pawsitive Action will donate 250.00 toward the procedure.

  • Client understands they SHOULD carry additional pet insurance (attached to rental or homeowners insurance) for the life of the dog. Average fee is 50.00-60.00 per year. Dogs are personal property and the client is responsible for the actions of their dog.  Some breeds are ineligible for insurance and the veteran understands that they assume all liability

  • Veteran understands and agrees the dog/client MUST re-certify SIX months after the initial Full Access Certification, then annually for the working life of the dog (approximately 10 years of age) or the dog will no longer wear a vest identifying it as a Pawsitive Action or VHH service dog.

  • ·If you are unable to complete the Full Access certification commitment due to medical reasons, PA will release you and your dog from our program. No additional fees or commitments will be required. You are required to submit medical documentation and a letter from your primary medical provider stating that you are unable to complete the program due to medical reasons.

  • The dog may be medically discharged, by a licensed veterinarian, if proven unable to continue as a service dog. If discharged, the dog may be released to the client as a pet.

  • If the veteran moves out of the state where originally certified, the veteran agrees to re-certify with a local dog trainer recommended by Pawsitive Action.

  • Your dog MUST wear a well fitted collar with identification on it at ALL times

  • Microchip will be registered to you and Pawsitive Action for safety and high return rate

  • Dog cannot be 15 to 20 pounds under or overweight (determined by a veterinarian) This is determined neglect and the dog can be "repossessed" by Pawsitive Action at any time during the dogs life should it be determined to to be under or over weight.

  • You agree NOT to put negative information, photos, complaints etc on social media. Please contact the director with any concerns.

  • You agree to send Pawsitive Action or Vets Helping Heroes a picture of YOU and your DOG, in vest,  every three months for the working life of the dog.