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“The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.” –Aristotle
I thought I knew a lot about adopting career change and retired service dogs. That was until I started researching my ultimate list of service dog schools with adoption programs.
Before I started researching I had an understanding of about a half dozen schools and their adoption programs. Fast forward and after researching over 100 organizations I found a few interesting facts.
Most of the adoption pages on the service and guide dog websites are very similar including most likely reasons for career change: health and temperament issues, breeds: Labs and Goldens, length of waiting lists: a year or longer, etc.
6 Facts About Adopting A Retired Service Dog
After researching a hundred+ sites below is a list of some of the outliers we came across amongst service dog organization adoption programs:
- $4,000 was the highest price for a retired service dog. On the other hand several organizations did not require a payment for a retired service dog, but donations were encouraged/appreciated.
- The longest waiting list for a career change dog was 6 years. Most programs said to be prepared to wait a year or longer for one of their dogs. –UPDATE: site now says they are not accepting applications dues to high demand
- At the Seeing Eye you can reduce your wait time by giving a gift of $25,000 or more! – I’d guess this is probably true for most of the organizations on our ultimate list. I wish I had that kind of cash to share with my favorite guide and service dog organizations.
- The Service Dog Project uses exclusively Great Danes in their program. Most organizations use Labrador Retriever or Golden Retrievers in their program, but the Service Dog Project uses the giant breed, Great Danes. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find information on an adoption program for their group.
- Pilot Dogs Inc. regularly uses seven breeds in their guide dog program: Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherd, Boxer, Doberman Pinscher, Standard Poodle, and Vizsla. We regularly see Labs and Goldens on these lists, but Dobermans, Boxers, and Vizsla’s are not as common to see as guide dogs.
- Can Do Canines assistance dogs never fail. However, sometimes they do need a “career change.” – I love this quote! Most programs don’t use the words “failed” or “rejected” and a common term used instead is “career change.”
Those are the facts! What do you think? I must say I find the above list very interesting.
Are you affiliated with a service or guide dog school? Do you have any interesting facts you’d like to add to this list? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comment section below.
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Check out more of our favorites on our New Puppy Checklist.