Service dogs are canines workers that are specially trained to assist human beings -- and society as a whole -- in a number of important and constructive ways. Some service dogs are trained to help the sick and elderly with the struggles of day-to-day life, while others, such as fire-house dogs and drug-sniffing police dogs, help save lives and fight crimes. Whether you are a handicapped individual with a helpful companion or a civil servant leading a brigade of canine crime-fighters, numerous organizations offer grants to pay for veterinary care for your service dogs.
Planet Dog Foundation
The "Planet Dog Foundation" is a non-profit organization that focuses on assisting foundations nationwide that train, care for and support the placement of working service dogs. As of early 2011, the foundation awards cash grants up $7,500 to non-profit organizations for the training, veterinary care and day-to-day expenses of assistance dogs. Such dogs may include service dogs for the blind and disabled, psychiatric service or therapy dogs, or police and fire stations dogs. Eligible applicants must verify an accredited membership to a reputable non-profit animal organization such as Assistance Dogs International, Delta Society or Therapy Dogs International.
International Association of Assistance Dog Partners - IAADP
Membership certainly does have its privileges when it comes to the canines of the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP). The IAADP maintains a fund for members called the Veterinary Care Partnership (VCP) program, which provides financial assistance grants to service-dog owners who are experiencing difficulties affording veterinary care. The VCP program is sponsored in part by donations from recognized major corporations such as Bayer Aspirin, Nestle, Purina and Procter & Gable. Grant applications must be completed by the veterinarian treating your service dog. Qualified applicant must own service dogs that are over 18 months old and not retired from active duty.
Land of Pure Gold
The Land of Pure Gold foundation is a non-profit organization run 100 percent by volunteers and funded by charitable donations. Though the foundation provides grant awards for numerous canine causes, the focus of its Working Dog Cancer Treatment Grant Program is restricted to service dogs suffering from various types of canine cancer. In 2011, the program provides owners of working service dogs with up to $500 for veterinary-prescribed cancer treatments. Working service dogs of all ages and breeds are eligible to apply for this funding. Retired services dogs are not eligible.
Assistance Dog Special Allowance Program (ADSA)
Blind, disabled, hard of hearing or deaf residents of California who own service dogs can apply for ongoing financial grants from the Assistance Dog Special Allowance Program (ADSA). ADSA provides qualified applicants with a monthly cash award of $50 to help care for their canine companions and service providers. The funds can be used at the recipient's discretion for dog food, grooming or veterinary expenses. In order to qualify, you must be a California resident, hard of hearing or disabled, own a registered service dog and receive benefits from a program such as SSI, SSP, IHSS, CAPI or SDI.
Michelle Renee is a professional trainer and quality assurance consultant in the career, education and customer service industries, with two decades of experience in food/beverage and event coordinating management. Renee has been published by Lumino and Career Flight as well as various food, education and business publications.