How to Apply

Applications are evaluated in the order in which they are received. Because we strive to make the best possible match between the service dog and the client, placement schedules will vary. Making the best matches means we must evaluate and compare the temperament, motivations and strengths of the dog with the lifestyle, personality, and assistance needs of the recipient. Therefore, we may not always adhere to strict first come-first serve policy. Wait time to be paired with a service dog is based on the needs of the client and the availability of the right dog to fit those needs.

If you are considering applying for a service dog, please read through the different types of dogs that are available to determine what type of service dog best fits your needs. ICAN dogs serve clients within a 250-mile radius of Indianapolis, however, our priority placements are with individuals and facilities in Indiana.

How do I start the process of applying for a service dog?

Using the descriptions on the ICAN website, determine what type of service dog best fits your needs and lifestyle, then complete the appropriate application in its entirety and ask your medical and personal references (if required) to complete their part of the application. Once the information is complete, send ICAN the application and supporting documents along with your $75 non-refundable application fee. Only completed applications will be reviewed by ICAN. Applications received without the $75 fee will not be reviewed by ICAN until fee is received.

Application Form (PDF)
Facility Dog Application (PDF)
Diabetes Alert Dog Application (PDF)

Please mail your completed application, along with the $75 application fee, to:

ICAN
Attention: Sandi Holubik, Client Success Manager
5610 Crawfordsville Rd, Ste 2101
Indianapolis, IN 46224

What happens after I send my application into ICAN?

Once your application form for a service dog is complete (including the application form, and the medical reference form and personal reference form, if required), we will contact you to come to the office for an interview and/or we schedule an in-home evaluation. The results of those meetings will determine whether or not we will add your name to the list of possible service dog recipients. We ask your permission to videotape this interview so we can get a sense of your capabilities and living situation. The videotape also allows us to revisit your needs as we evaluate possible canine matches.

How does ICAN evaluate if someone is eligible to have a service dog placed with him/her?

The decision for a person, family, or facility to bring a service dog into their lives requires a serious and sustained commitment. While the mission of ICAN is to provide as many people as possible with healthy, safe service dogs, we are also committed to making sure that ICAN dogs are placed in safe, healthy environments and that their training is maintained after the dog leaves our care.

Questions ICAN will ask you include the following:

  • What are the person's needs and challenges, i.e. what kind of help does the applicant need? 
    Just like people, dogs come with a wide range of physical capabilities, personalities and interests. In order to make the best match, ICAN staff and handlers need to have a clear understanding of the kind of assistance that an applicant needs. Application forms and interviews will include many questions intended to determine exactly how a dog can be most helpful.

  • Who will take care of the dog in the event that the primary handler is not able to?
    Some individuals who have disabilities find that their strength and/or symptoms vary considerably from day-to-day or week-to-week. It is important to have a back-up plan in place in the event that the primary recipient of the dog is not able to care for the dog.

  • Does the person or family have the financial means to care for a service dog?
    While estimates vary on the annual cost to provide food, toys, and proper veterinary care for a dog, the cost can range between $900-$1200 a year.

  • Are there other animals in the household or facility? If so, how might introducing a service dog impact them? Have other dogs been introduced before?
    Some dogs and cats can be socially sensitive and not all will adapt readily to newcomers. While we do place dogs in homes with other animals, ICAN prefers to place in homes where there are no more than 1 family dog. We will not place in homes with more than 1 family dog. Note: Homes may not have any dogs for those receiving a diabetes alert dogs.

Additional questions to ask yourself:

  • Does anyone in the house or facility smoke? If so, how often?
  • Are there other members of the household and, if so, how do they feel about a service dog? Are they supportive?
  • Are they willing to help with the care and training of the dog (e.g., trimming dog's nails, grooming, taking dog to vet as needed, picking up dog waste)?
  • Does anyone have allergies to dogs?