America’s VetDogs® began in 2003 as a project of the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind to consolidate and increase our outreach to veterans of all eras. In 2006, it became a separate 501(c)(3) corporation.
VetDogs provides guide dogs for veterans who are blind; service dogs for those with other physical disabilities; physical and occupational therapy dogs to work with amputees in military and VA hospitals; and combat stress control dogs to be deployed in theater.
All of our services are provided at no cost to veterans, and our funding comes from the generous contributions of individuals, corporations, foundations, businesses, and service and fraternal clubs.
For a veteran with a serious limb injury, amputation, or traumatic brain injury, a service dog can provide stability support climbing up and down stairs or getting in and out of a chair, and can be trained to fetch and retrieve specific items, e.g., medication, a wallet, or a phone. For veterans with seizure disorder, dogs can be trained to alert for seizure response.
To help those who have served our country honorably live with dignity and independence.
The service dog programs of America’s VetDogs® were created to provide enhanced mobility and renewed independence to United States veterans, active-duty service members, and first responders with disabilities, allowing them to once again live with pride and self-reliance. Not only does a service dog provide support with daily activities, it provides the motivation to tackle every day challenges.
VetDogs trains and places service dogs for those with physical disabilities; guide dogs for individuals who are blind or have low vision; service dogs to help mitigate the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder; and facility dogs as part of the rehabilitation process in military and VA hospitals.
It costs over $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one assistance dog; however, all of VetDogs’ services are provided at no charge to the individual. Funding comes from the generosity of individuals, corporations, foundations, businesses, and community organizations.
Once they make the decision to get a service dog, applicants become part of VetDogs’ open and welcoming community. Students will come to our 10-acre campus in Smithtown, New York, for our two-week in-residence training program. Classes are kept small to ensure personalized attention for each student and their new dog. Over the course of the time spent with us, the student and dog bond and learn how to work together as a team. They are supported with an uncompromising commitment to excellence, from highly empathetic and certified trainers to a meticulously constructed curriculum.