APPLY FOR A DOG

If you are interested in applying for an Assistance Dog, please review the eligibility requirements below, types of dogs we provide, and the Assistance Dogs of Hawaii application process.

If you meet the requirements, please email the Assistance Dogs of Hawaii office at info@assistancedogshawaii.org to schedule a phone interview. Application packages are sent out after completion of the phone interview.

*Note: Due to the high volume of inquiries, only those applicants who closely meet our eligibility requirements may receive follow-up.

You may refer to our Frequently Asked Questions page for further information.

ELIGIBILITY
General Eligibility Policies: To be eligible to receive an Assistance Dog from Assistance Dogs of Hawaii, the applicant must satisfy the eligibility checklist that follows. All applicants or potential applicants are considered equally regardless of race, sex, religion, or any other categories protected by law.

Applicants must:

  1. Be willing and able to provide for the dog’s physical, emotional and financial needs.

  2. Have a positive, “can do” attitude and no anger management problems.

  3. Have a fenced yard or contained area.

  4. Have a stable home environment.

  5. Be emotionally and mentally stable.

  6. Be financially stable.

  7. Have a teachable attitude.

  8. Be able to attend an intensive two week Team Training Camp on Maui, pay the $500 tuition, as well as cover airfare, accommodations, and transportation. In some cases, Assistance Dogs of Hawaii may be able to assist with accommodation and transportation costs.

Please note that ADH does not train medical detection/alert, emotional support animals, or mobility/balance dogs. 

REQUIREMENTS
Assistance Dogs of Hawaii trains and places Service Dogs and Facility Dogs. Applicants must agree to follow Assistance Dogs of Hawaii's and ADI’s standards of care and ethics for working dogs, including adhering to all exercise, health and training regiments. In addition, all applicants must commit to maintaining the training level of each dog and give it opportunities to use its skills. Applicants must also attend a 2-3 week training camp on Maui and participate in ongoing follow-up visits and training for the lifetime of the partnership.

SERVICE DOGS:

  • Applicants must be at least 10 years old.

  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate a need for a Service Dog and describe the ways in which a dog will increase your independence and assist you.

  • Applicants must have a physical disability such as Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Spinal Cord Injuries, Lupus, Amputations, or Paralysis, which could be helped by the presence of a Service Dog.

  • Applicants must have a stable home environment, a desire for more independence and a positive attitude.

  • Applicants must be at least one-year post injury or onset of disability.

  • Have a desire for more independence

HOSPITAL FACILITY DOGS:

  • Applicants must be health care professionals and commit to using the dog as part of the services they provide.

  • Applicants must be a director or employee of an institution providing services for people who could benefit from the skills of a Facility Dog.

  • Applicants must agree to be the dog’s primary handler and take responsibility for its ongoing expenses, training and care.

  • Applicants must have a stable home environment, a desire to help people and a positive attitude.

COURTHOUSE FACILITY DOGS:

  • Applicants must be professionals in the legal field who work directly with victims of crime.

  • Applicants must commit to using the dog as part of the services they provide

  • Applicants must be a director or employee of an institution providing services for people who could benefit from the skills of a Courthouse Dog.

  • Applicants must agree to be the dog’s primary handler and take responsibility for its ongoing expenses, training and care.

  • Applicants must have a stable home environment, a desire to help people and a positive attitude.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Step 1 — Initial Screening for Eligibility and Phone Interview

  • Potential Applicant contacts Assistance Dogs of Hawaii and it is determined if initial eligibility requirements are met.

  • If person is considered a potential applicant, a detailed phone interview will be conducted to determine eligibility for our program.

  • Application packet will be sent to potential applicants. If a person is not a match for our program they may be referred to another organization.


Step 2 — Written Application

  • Potential applicant is notified once the completed packet is received with all accompanying documents.

  • Application goes to the Application Review Committee.

  • Applicant is notified of acceptance or denial of application.


Step 3 — Home Interview

  • Successful applicant completes a pre-home interview form.

  • Home interview takes place involving all members of the family.


Step 4 — Acceptance and Matching

  • Once an applicant has successfully completed the interview process they go onto the waiting list for an Assistance Dog.

  • Applicant is carefully matched with a dog according to temperament, skills needed, energy/activity level, personality, and environment that they would be working in.

  • Wait times for an Assistance Dog are generally between one and two years.

  • The applicant will be notified when the program has a possible match and the two prospective partners will meet.

  • Team Training Camp is scheduled for the new partners.