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.
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.
- 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.
Yes—currently for Veterans in the Ft. Wayne area only. Our merger with Our Turn to Serve in April 2022 allows us to provide service dogs for veterans with combat-related challenges specific to PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and military sexual trauma. All Veterans must be referred to us through the Veteran Affairs Northern Indiana Health Care System.
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.
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
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.
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.
**Please contact us regarding costs for placement for service dogs for veterans (in the Ft. Wayne area) with combat-related challenges specific to PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and military sexual trauma.
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).
The wait time from application to being matched with a service dog can be one to three 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.