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Rescue To Service

People Saving Dogs. Dogs Saving People.

Launched in January, 2016, this program identifies dogs needing forever homes that have the ability to become service dogs. Eventually dogs are matched with a person with a disability who wants to adopt a dog to train as their service dog. A service dog is individually trained to do tasks or perform work to mitigate a person's disability. 

Brief Program Overview

  • Partnering animal welfare agencies identify dogs that appear to have service dog traits.
  • An initial evaluation of the dog is done at Handi-Dogs Training Center.
  • Accepted dogs are placed in specially trained foster homes.
  • The fosters socialize the dogs and attend weekly training lessons at Handi-Dogs. Working every day with the dogs, they teach the dogs core skills such as watch me, loose leash walking, sit, etc.
  • About 3-4 months later, the dogs are re-evaluated at Handi-Dogs.
  • Qualified dogs are matched with a person with a disability.
  • The 'matched person' adopts the dog and continues their service dog training at Handi-Dogs.

Interested in adopting one of these dogs? (For people with a disability who want to adopt a dog and train it to be their service dog. Applicants must be age 18 or older.)
After reading the program overview, submit the following 2 forms.

1. Rescue to Service Application 

2. Financial Self-Assessment Form

3Physician Statement -- Choose A or B (if you are going to be training for both physical and psychiatric tasks, submit both reports):

3APhysician Statement -- Use this form for mobility assistance, hearing alert, diabetic alert dogs

3B. Mental Health Report   -- use this form for Psychiatric Service Dogs

Mail both forms to Handi-Dogs, 75 S. Montego Dr., Tucson, AZ 85710. Once received our Training Manager will contact you to set up a Consultation. ***NOTE: The current wait time is a minimum of 6 - 12 months to be matched with a dog after your application has been approved.***

Interested in becoming a foster home for this program?
After reading the job description, email Glenda@Handi-Dogs.org to let her know you are interested in volunteering in this program. Please note: Foster homes can NOT be the potential home of the person who will adopt the dog to train as their service dog.

Thank you to the Zuckerman Community Outreach Foundation and PetSmart Charities for their grant supporting this program.

Questions about this program? Email Service@Handi-Dogs.org or call 520-326-3412.

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