About working together:
- The program is based on teamwork. Both you and your dog will be working hard toward a common goal: certification as an assistance team. The OFP team is here to support your success.
- OFP may look to some like a charity, but we think of it as an organization that supports and enables you to achieve success. We’re not just giving you a dog, we’re giving you the tools you need to overcome challenges.
- Most of the dogs in our teams are rescued from shelters. Thus, the team is healing together, and providing each other with a new lease on life.
- All the elements you’ll need to be successful will be provided at no cost to you. Except the most important element. You bring your desire and determination to succeed.
The program to train your own service dog will follow a defined protocol and timeline. Here’s what you will do:
|1. Apply||Fill out and submit the application form. You’ll also need to have a letter from a doctor recommending a service dog. **Please note that while we do our best to serve everyone in need, not all applications will be accepted into the program**|
|2. Meet with us||In a one-on-one interview, we’ll discuss and assess your needs and the most important tasks for your service dog to perform, as well as determining the characteristics of a dog that you will find most important.|
|3. Match with a dog||We’ll use our best judgment and intuition, but the dog and you really find each other. In rare cases, existing pets can be trained as service dogs.|
|4. Begin the training program||You and your dog will meet with us weekly for approximately 48 weeks (350 hours) for lessons, guidance, and exercises you will practice at home.|
|5. Become certified||Once you’re certified as a service dog team, your dog will have all the rights and responsibilities defined for service dogs under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).|