Have you ever had a question and didn’t know where to find the answer? If so, you’ve come to the right place.
This section is a compilation of answers to the questions most commonly asked by our supporters. Just start by following one of the links below. If you can’t find the question you wanted to ask, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Our organization teaches and places highly educated service dogs with veterans and first responders suffering from PTSD. We also provide life saving rehabilitation for inmates at California state prisons.
We’re always on the lookout for individuals like you wanting to get involved. Visit our How To Help section to find out ways to donate or volunteer.
We have a responsibility to our community and our donors and work hard to ensure long-term sustainability of the organization. We do not receive any government funding, and receive very few private grants. Our administrative costs are paid for by Thousand Hills Pet Resort, so you can know your donation is going directly to the education of a service dog. We make our IRS Form 990 available for review, as required by law. Visit our Financials page to learn more.
Do you use rescues for your service dogs?
We have used rescues in the past, and we were very fortunate to have our first two graduates be rescues. We have found though, like many other service dog organizations, that rescue dogs in most cases are not fit for being service dogs due to past traumas. Another professional in this field that we consult with, Jennifer Arnold, wrote in her book, "Dogs in shelters or with rescue organizations are all, to one degree or another, traumatized. They've all had a rough go. After adopting, I had to ask them to be brave enough to walk sedately through the airport, calm enough to accept being touched by countless strangers, smart enough to learn new behaviors, and kind enough to use those behaviors in service to a human being. Worst of all, I had to put them through another rehoming."
Can you teach my dog to be a service dog?
We are not able to teach dogs other than the ones we have specifically chosen as puppies to join our program. With the puppies that we carefully choose we cannot know for sure if they will meet the requirements to become a service dog until they are well into their education, so we would never be able to guarantee that your dog would pass the program. If you would like your personal pet to be trained for basic obedience please consider Gentle Touch Pet Training, as all proceeds from the training go to fund our program! www.gentlepets.com
Can I purchase one of your service dogs?
Our service dogs are placed free of charge to veterans or first responders who are struggling with PTSD. Due to the high rate of suicide among veterans and first responders we are focusing on this group of individuals. If you are a veteran or first responder with PTSD, please apply for a free service dog by clicking apply in the menu bar. If you are searching for a service dog to help with a different disability please use the following website to find an organization that provides highly trained service dogs safely. https://www.assistancedogsinternational.org/members/programs-search/
If you do not qualify for one of our service dogs, please click the link to find another organization in your area that may be able to help you.
For many reasons we believe that our dogs are very safe with the prison inmates. Since the first prison program started in 1981 no dogs have been harmed by an inmate. The inmates and staff are incredibly protective of the dogs, as they want to ensure they are able to continue their rehabilitation with this program. Every inmate that joins our program is interviewed by our staff and prison correctional officers. There is certain criteria in place as well that helps determine if an inmate is eligible to join the program.
How long does the process take from start to finish when trying to receive a service dog?
Barring that your application is fully and successfully finished, there is up to a two year wait. This is a general guideline and not rule of thumb. Receiving a service dog is never a guarantee. We pair dogs with their future partners on a match vs. first come first serve basis.
What happens when my dog has to retire?
Clients who previously had a New Life K9s service dog and are requesting a successor service dog receive priority over new clients. Successor clients must have been compliant with all follow-up reporting and maintained their dog at a healthy weight. We reserve the right to decline successor clients who were noncompliant with follow-up requirements or let their dog become overweight.
What is your waitlist policy?
At New Life K9s, we strive to ensure we can place dogs with all the qualified people we can help. To do that, we need the cooperation of our clients in the queue to do their part by working with us and their providers to move the process along. New Life K9s reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to remove a client from the waiting list. Examples include, but are not limited to: the client is not compliant with quarterly follow-up with New Life K9s staff and/or refuses to participate in occasional video check-ins, his/her needs for a dog have changed, or the client does not have an active mental health treatment plan with a provider (PTSD waitlisted clients). While on the Waitlist, it is the responsibility of the applicant to update New Life K9s on any change of contact information, provider information, or medical and mental health status.
Is there anything your dogs do not do?
Yes! We do not train or place the types of assistance dogs included in the following list:
-Balance dogs for people who need ongoing support while walking
-Hearing alert/service dogs
-Medical alert dogs, such as diabetic and seizure alert/assistance dogs
-Scent detection dogs such as allergen and gas detection dogs
-Autism service dogs
-Demential/Alzheimer's service dogs
-Emotional support dogs
-Protection or guardian dog