assistance dog


*Service dog partners must be 18 years or older to have their own dog. Facilitated team placements, where a parent or caretaker is the primary partner, allow some service dogs to be placed with younger individuals.


*With the exception of the facilitated team placements, the potential service dog partner must have a level of cognitive functioning that allows them to care for, manage and understand the training process of the service dog.


*All potential service dog partners must show a medically documented need for a service or assistance dog. At this time PurposeFULL Paws is only able to provide service dogs for certain disabilities/needs so the individual must be seeking a type of service dog that we currently train.


*All service dogs must go to a home with a safe environment and a fully fenced yard. (apartments, condos and similar types of housing must demonstrate alternative arrangements that have been made prior to placement)

*All potential partners must be able to afford annual dog supplies and veterinary services that can average $800 per year (this does not include any veterinary emergencies).

*All other pets in the home must be vaccinated and be able to live peaceably with the new service dog.

*All potential service dog partners must be able to provide a service dog with a minimum amount of daily exercise.


*All potential service dog partners must be able to travel to the PurposeFULL Paws facility in Martinsburg, WV multiple times for an interview, evaluations and training at your own expense. All visits to our facility, including the two week partner training session prior to placement, will be at the candidate’s expense including, but not limited to, transportation, housing, meals and additional assistance if needed.


*While our Service/Assistance Dog recipients are only responsible to pay for the $30 application fee and $500 placement fee for their dog, we do require each one to participate by fundraising a portion of the cost of their Service/Assistance Dog.  The  fundraising requirement is discussed with the PurposeFull Paws Team during the full application process.  We also welcome our recipients to participate the different fundraisers that PurposeFull Paws does as a group each year.   It allows the opportunity to meet other Service Dog recipients as well as our volunteers and donors that make PurposeFULL Paws Service Dogs possible!


*A typical PurposeFULL Paws Service Dog should be retired after a working life of approximately 10 years. Each potential partner must understand and demonstrate the ability to meet the cost, time and effort that is required to care for a dog for this length of time. Any exceptions will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Purposefull Paws Service Dogs will be made available to applicants that meet our criteria without regard to race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin as well as all classes protected by the laws of the United States and the state of West Virginia.

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