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Bringing a service dog into your life is a wonderful but serious commitment — and we’re here to help you through it.


If you’re willing and able to work with your dog every day, provide vet care and healthy food, and unconditionally love your pet, an ICAN service dog may be right for you!

Additional qualifications include:

  • Live in Indiana
  • Have a physical, developmental, or cognitive disability
  • Are at least 8 years old (or at least 18 years old for a diabetic alert dog)
  • Can handle a service dog in public on your own (or have responsible guardians who can help you)
  • Have exposed your child to dogs for eight to 12 months (if applicable)

We consider applications regardless of a person’s age, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, national origins, or disabilities.


Frequently Asked Questions

 

Applying for placement with a service dog takes time, research, effort, and patience. Below are frequently asked questions (general, financial, and educational) that will assist you on your journey.

 

General

What breeds of dogs do you train?

Most of our dogs are purebred Labradors, Golden Retrievers, or a cross between the two. ICAN is a member of the ABC Breeding Cooperative, along with other ADI-accredited service dog organizations.

How do you train your dogs?
As the only ADI-accredited service dog training program in Indiana, we follow rigorous standards to not only comply with regulations, but also to take the best possible care of our dogs and clients.

  • Maintaining safe, clean training facilities
  • Treating all clients fairly — regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, national origins, or disabilities
  • Providing proper vet care for our dogs
  • Training with humane methods and positive reinforcement
  • Screening clients and dogs for ideal matches
  • Complying with all legal regulations for training, events, etc.
  • Renewing our public access certification every year
  • Keeping our accreditation up-to-date


  • By taking 24/7 responsibility for ICAN dogs-in-training for two years, the handlers learn professional and life management skills to help them prepare for successful re-entry into their community.

    In addition to the work with their handlers, each dog-in-training regularly goes out into the community with furloughs, where they learn the ways of the world in which they'll eventually work.
Do you train dogs for PTSD, anxiety, and/or depression?

At this time, we are only partnering dogs with veterans in which mobility assistance is their primary need and PTSD assistance is secondary.

We’re happy to direct you to Assistance Dogs International (ADI) and help you find an organization that places service dogs for those living with PTSD, anxiety, and/or depression. You can visit assistancedogsinternational.org for more information.

Do you train seizure alert dogs?

No, but we can guide you to Assistance Dogs International (ADI), since other accredited members place this type of dog. Please visit assistancedogsinternational.org and click on Member Search to learn more.

What is Assistance Dogs International?

Assistance Dogs International (ADI) is a worldwide group of nonprofits (like ICAN) that train and place assistance dogs with individuals who have disabilities. ICAN is an ADI Accredited Member program, and the ADI regularly audits our organization to ensure we're meeting industry standards.

For more information about ADI, please visit assistancedogsinternational.org.


Eligibility & Financial

Where does ICAN place service dogs?

You must live in Indiana to be eligible for an ICAN service dog. If you live out-of-state but think you may qualify for a service dog, please visit assistancedogsinternational.org on click on Member Search for more information.

How much does it cost?

We require a non-refundable $75 application fee when you submit your application, as well as a $2,500 placement fee once we match you with a dog. We also highly recommend pet insurance for your service dog.

Any other costs associated with attending interviews and the mandatory Team Training are your responsibility. These include transportation to our Zionsville facility, your hotel, meals outside of training hours, and attendant care (if necessary).

What is the wait time?

The wait time from application to being matched with a service dog can be one to three years; those who apply for an autism assistance dog might wait three to five years. These times are based on your needs, the number of clients on our waitlist, and the availability of the dog that’s right for you.

How do you decide if someone is eligible?

The decision for a person, family, or facility to bring a service dog into their lives requires a serious, long-term commitment. While our mission is to provide as many people as possible with service dogs, we also want to make sure that we place the dogs in healthy, safe environments — and that their training continues after the dog leaves our care.

Do you offer any financial assistance?

We currently don’t offer a scholarship program to offset the cost of a service dog. Because the average annual cost to own a dog runs from $1,000 to $1,200, we need to ensure that our clients can provide for the dog after they take them home. This includes medicine, vet visits, healthy food, toys, bedding, and so on.

However, applicants can begin making payments in advance of receiving a dog so they can reduce the final amount due at the time of placement.


Educational

Will ICAN train my dog for me?

We’re sorry, but we cannot train your dog or take your litter. Our program uses a comprehensive approach, where we select puppies based on characteristics that we’ve found will lead to their success as a service dog. Through our application process, we match individuals with disabilities to a trained dog that is best suited for their needs.

Can I get my dog accredited and licensed to be a service dog?

This is a common misconception, but there’s actually no such thing as an accredited or licensed service dog. There are also businesses online that tell people they can get an accredited license, card, and vest for their dog — but this is breaking the law.

For more information about service dog laws, please visit The Pacific ADA Center. You can also learn about Indiana’s specific laws here.



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